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A recent study from Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services has shown that an incredible 75% of young people in Nunavik are now regular tobacco users, a number which is one of the highest on the planet.
The survey was carried out by asking just over one hundred teenagers about their tobacco use along with a number of other questions related to smoking. The low number of participants involved in the study might throw the results a little but it’s disturbing reading none the less.
The use of tobacco has been a problem in Northern society since overseas whalers started trading tobacco with the locals in the 1800’s and it doesn’t seem as if modern knowledge of the possible health consequences is having an effect on getting out young people to change their ways. The health board’s educational campaign, which started in the 1990’s, offers a variety of options to help those already addicted to nicotine but hasn’t helped curb the numbers taking a draw on their first cigarette.
With a high percentage of adults smoking cigarettes regularly and setting an example to the young we need a multi-pronged approach to reduce the scourge of tobacco on society.
Harm reduction products such as e cigarettes might be one short-term answer to reducing the harm done to tobacco users. Although these products won’t help eradicate the addiction to nicotine, they do reduce the number of health damaging chemical the individual inhales. The advantage of electronic smoking devices is that they allow the individual to continue their nicotine addiction while reducing the risk of disease which is devastating to families, and a burden on our health services.
In the long term we need to denormalize the use of tobacco amongst our citizens, but in the meantime it would make sense to use whatever products we have available to reduce the harm done by this strong addiction.
E cigarette reviews has more information about the use of these products as a harm reduction method.
It has been announced that Shell’s Artic drilling programme will have a new management team for 2013. Led by Ann Pickard who will replace David Lawrence after a very difficult 2012 drilling period.There are rumours to be many more leadership changes that are going to be implemented in Shell soon.For instance the CEO, Peter Voser is planning to retire and the hot money is on Simon Henry to replace him, he’s currently serving as the CFO.There were well reported difficulties with last years drilling programme of course, but even so expected earnings for the operation still grew last quarter.
The news on all the biggest oil and gas producers operating in Alaska can be found on the BBC web site. Much of the site (including Iplayer) however is not accessible to people based in Canada so you’ll need to change your IP address – details on this site.
Pipelines, well at least the plans to install them, are extremely popular with the Alaska legislature (AD).There are a huge range of energy projects and pipelines planned within Alaska, however there is much criticisim that this is not prioritized properly with many wasteful projects being implemented before more promising ones. There was a stark warning from Dr Melanie Hart, she suggested that caution in that the huge Asia market for energy will also be serviced from many other suppliers. Russia and Australia are also well placed to satisfy the continents demand so there will inevitably be competition and downward pressures on prices.
The Alaska legislature may have passed the long-debated oil tax cut, but that hasn’t stopped the bill’s opponents, many of whom are organizing and gathering signatures to repeal the bill through a voter referendum (AD).There are many useful explanations of the economics of energy, but the blog Thoughts on Alaska Oil and Gas is a very accessible place to start.
Meanwhile as we talk of exporting energy to the far east, Alaskan’s are very aware of the extremely high utility prices they pay!There are initiatives such as run by the Rural Alaskan Action Program which seek to help Alaskans reduce their energy bills simply by some changes in their behaviour.In Anchorage there was a meeting of the Alaska Rural Energy Conference. You can get details of the Agenda from the conferance web site – http://www.akruralenergy.org/.
Ever since 2008 and the Lehmann Brothers collapse America has been in a funk. Elections promising change have not delivered what Americans really want and that is an upswing in the economy. There has been some good news with improved employment figures in 2013, but this was balanced by the twelth hour deal to extend America’s line of credit. Tax cuts under the Bush administration, the rise of China in the market place and two costly and prolonged wars in the East have cost American tax payers dearly.
It is only the mega-rich who look for assets such as real estate and natural resources who benefit from these hard times. The American dream promises that anyone can join the elite. The truth is that it is a club that recruits 99.9% of its members from within its own ranks. It takes generations for a family to accrue wealth and connections. Few people find short cuts.
It is all bleak news. My suggestion is to change your mind set. You cannot hope to gain happiness from material possessions. The desire for stuff just leads to frustration that you haven’t got better stuff. So why bother? Instead why not seek to capture new experiences?
One of the best ways to improve your mood is to take a holiday in the sun. And why not expand your cultural horizons by visiting a distant foreign country.
One of the most paradisical countries in the world is Thailand. Its gentle Buddhist culture, its delicious food, its great weather and most importantly, its stunning beaches are the perfect antidote for the doldrums.
I recommend checking out Haad Yao Beach in Koh Phangan. It is often called the ’perfect beach’ because of its 1 km stretch of white sand next to a shimmering azure ocean. It is a wide beach with plenty of space. Just off the coast is a vibrant coral reef great for snorkeling and diving.
There is a small village behind the beach with a cool selection of bars, restaurants and shops. We recommend Crave for great Western food. Haad Yao Lounge is the best spot to work-out as well as to enjoy a happy hour drink. For late evening it is hard to beat the great and smokey atmosphere at Rasta Home.
So shake off the recession blues – don’t buy a new car; instead buy a holiday of a life time to Thailand and to Haad Yao Beach!
Of course because we live slightly off the beaten track, we’ve all probably had our own problems with internet access. If you are one of the lucky ones your tales of woe might refer to slow loading times or how you have to buffer video streams whilst watching them. Or perhaps how you need to get an IP address from a US server so you can watch the US channels like Hulu and ABC. But for lots of others it’s much worse being virtually excluded from the digital world with an erratic or non existent internet service.
But there is hope on the horizon with some positive news from Coman Communications who have offered free wireless access in a selction of places including around Northmart Store, Nunavut Artic College and several others.
Heather Coman who runs the company explained that they want to demonstrate that internet services can be improved in the area. They hope that ISPs like Northwestel will actually buy bandwidth off them to improve speeds and performance for their customers. The services are all apparently all installed and ready for use immediately. The service is the result of a team up with a satellite broadcast service based in Hamilton. Their goal to produce a new information gateway for the people of Nunavut. The satellites are not currently servicing the North and should be much quicker than the Telesat satellite which does seem to be rather saturated.
The project has only just come to fruition after four years of work for Coman Artic in this area. The introduction of a second carrier was largely welcomed by most local residents who are hopeful it will make a significant change in internet speeds to the area. In the future it is hoped that the infrastructure will be improved even more with hopefully fiber optic fast broadband being eventually introduced to significantly improve bandwidth.
One of the big disadvantages in living away from the urbas sprawl in the patchy state of internet access. It’s ironic really because people in remote regions of places like Nunavet and across Alaska have probably the most to benefit from internet access. For a start they are a vital link to the outside world especially for those who are not able to travel very far. Keeping in touch with friends and neighbours using the internet may sound a non-essential luxury but for people living alone it’s a vital support mechanism.
Hi Speed internet access also brings a host of options and opportunities to people. For instance if you have a decent internet connection and a computer then there is nothing to stop you setting up a thriving online business online. A chance to create your own income and wealth generated from anywhere in the world. The money created will inevitably be spent in the local economy too so everyone benefits. There are internet entrepreneurs dotted all across Alaska, making a decent living in the virtual world to finance their Alaskan life.
There’s much more of course, the internet has huge entertainment value and you can access resources all across the globe. In fact if you invest in a simple proxy or VPN service you can get access to even more. For example did you know that using a UK proxy, you can watch virtually everything on the BBC – there’s a post that explains all here - http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/, it’s relatively simple to gain a UK IP address.
So it’s got to be good news when you hear about more companies investing in the infrastructure we need to access the internet. Many across the regions are still struggling with either non-existent or basic dial up access. A company called Juch Tech have however vowed to deliver access to remote areas like Iqaliut in Nanuvet. Even better they are teaming up with a local Inuit owned company in order to deliver these services. The intention is to bring high speed internet access and 3G phone coverage to the local population of about 800 residents. We wish them all success as it would be a huge boost to the area.
Importing fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables to the Arctic circle, while important, could be seen as some what of a luxury. In many ways, it makes far more sense to import dried foods since we get more calories per kilogram. Therefore grains like rice and quinoa are excellent as are beans and lentils. That’s not to say that I’m against eating fresh produce. Far from it. However, with the effects of global warming becoming more and more noticeable, attempting to do our part is a worthy endeavour.
Impacts of Climate Change
The U.N. Cimate Change Summit in Doha has by and large failed to deliver any real progress on curbing green house gas emissions. Therefore we are likely to continue to see melting of the ice caps and more extreme weather events throughout the world. Therefore it would be folly to want to increase the amount of food imports to colder climates. We have a serious choice to make. Produce more foods locally and import less, by weight. Or we could simply leave and move towards an area of the world where remaining self sufficient is easier. For example, California grows vast quantities of fruits and vegetables and all kinds of produce, including meats are relatively cheap.
To find out more about the health benefits of eating rice, you should visit this site. You may not agree with its vegan policy, but it’s hard to argue against rice being good for our health. As I have already discussed, it makes sense to import this kind of grain into colder climates as pound for pound, it goes a long way. Rice is grown not just in Asia but the U.S. is also one of the top 20 producers.
Deep below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, in fact just above the very oil field which inspired the creation of the tranas-Alaska pipeline, lies a resource that many suggest may be the next big energy resource. It was located by a drill rig whcih is being run by the Department of Energy and some selected commercial partners.
The resource at first glance looks exactly the same as ice, but it is in fact a huge lake of methane hydrate. This chemical burns like a candle if it’s molecules are merely warmed. At the moment there is no desperate need for methane mainly due to the other sources of gas mainly from fracking. It is expected to be needed at some point though and the Department of Energy realises that there is at least a 10-15 year lead in for introducing new sources of energy like this.
The experiment is being run on the North Slope and current production figures come in at about 1 million cubic feet of the gas methane. Interest in the energy source is tarting to accelerate now. There are many countries who may find burning methane as a better alternative to importing natural gas. There is another big test being set up in Japan on the Island of Honshu.
There are some intersting environmental and scientific shows available on the BBC on this matter. If you have trouble accessing them, then try this method I used to get IPlayer on the Ipad working from the US using a VPN.
Methane is basically buried and decomposed organic mattter which has been warmed up. The gas tends to seep upwards and if it encounters water then it will form methane hydrate. This is the reason that the biggest deposits globally are found on the sea floor. Of course these pockets are actually very dangerous to the environment supplementing man’s damage by releasing the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
There are still many problems regarding using this as an energy source. One of the other main worries is the fact that in many areas extracting the gas will involve melting ice which can damage the methane gas lake. There are some Norwegian scientists trying to develop a process where carbon dioxide is injected to free up the methane for harvesting without lowering the temperature and thawing the ice.
Valentine is just around the bend, and surely, we can already feel love in the air. Just thinking about Valentine’s Day, and about my possible Valentine date with a special someone, makes me feel really excited about February 14. However, I couldn’t also help thinking (or dreaming) about my ideal Valentine date, and about how I could make this occasion extra special for me and my beloved.
I want to start my date at late afternoon until whole evening with my special someone. The reason why I don’t want it to start earlier, most especially not in the morning, is that I want to make sure I am physically and mentally prepared for such date. Of course, I have to make sure that I look really wonderful, and that my special someone will fall more deeply in love with me as soon as he sees me.
A hopeless romantic person like me has an ideal Valentine date which is very simple, and perhaps, primitive. A romantic healthy dinner for two in a restaurant that serves alkaline foods is really a perfect choice. A romantic, slow dance will be good as well. Then perhaps a walk in the park, just to watch the stars can be heart-warming.
I bought myself a Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum cleaner and I’m over the moon with my purchase. This is a very clever little thing. When you put it down in a room, it uses a minute or so to scan and map the room as well as all the obstacles. It then starts off cleaning by going round the perimeter and then, it goes in straight lines vacuuming until it has cleaned the whole room. It knows where the furniture is and cleverly avoids bumping into it. If its power runs low before it has completed a room, it will return to the docking station, charge and then return to the exact spot where it left off. Clever isn’t it?
The Neato can clean carpets, rugs, hardwood, vinyl and tiles. It’s a bit noisy on the hardwood and tiles but one can watch TV in the same room while it is cleaning the carpet. What I really like about my Neato is that I can schedule cleaning for the whole week. This means that it can clean my floors while I am at work. It’s great to come home to carpets with the “freshly vacuumed” lines – especially if I didn’t have to do it.
If there were one thing you could change for the better about your life, what would it be? I’m sure many would go for a vastly improved financial situation, or a happier marriage and family life, while others would opt for a change in where they lived to somewhere nicer. How many would opt for a vast improvement in their health? Maybe not as many as you would think, but with the huge numbers of overweight and obese people walking around these days, it might seem as if this ought to be the number one wish for change.
In reality, the line between being unhealthy and healthy is a lot finer than many would think. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort to change the state of your health from being under par to being glowing and healthful. What it does take is a series of small, incremental steps t hat almost anyone should be able to follow in order to achieve a lasting improvement in their overall health and well being.
It really is quite amazing how a seemingly minor change of diet can bring about so many great health benefits to the dieter. By simply cutting out drinking soda and replacing it with plain water and maybe some fresh fruit juice can cause amazing changes in a person’s weight and shape. The amount of calories that a person can save in an average day where they simply stop drinking three or four cans of soda and instead drink water is incredible. It can make the difference of a loss of several pounds each month!
Similarly, by cutting down hard on eating processed meals, convenient diets of takeout food and junk food, a person can start feeling better, more awake and alert and have more energy because their bodies would no longer be having to deal with all the toxins that are present in that type of food thanks to all the artificial additives and saturated fats that are in them. Then by cutting down on foods containing refined sugar and refined white flour and replacing them with more fresh fruits and vegetables in the daily diet, that feeling of lightness and having much more energy will become even more pronounced.
Its a funny thing, but people who make these small changes to their diet often feel so much better and livelier that they actually feel like taking more exercise and feel restless sitting in a chair watching TV. They would actually rather be outdoors in the fresh air getting some real exercise, even if its brisk walking. Some like to do some swimming or even cycling.
This all comes from making a few small yet significant changes to your diet and its not something that you have to look at and feel like its going to be hard. because its actually very easy, once you get into the swing of it and then it becomes like a case of “Why didn’t I do this before?”
Visit Nunatsiaq Online for the latest news from the Nunavut and Nunavik regions of the eastern Canadian Arctic. For posterity, the newspaper's Twitter feed can be found below.
This site now deals with global news matters and topics of interest.
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