Shortly after I came out to British Columbia in early 2006 I had a case of severely high blood pressure. It wouldn't have been fair to an employer for me to work for them until I got my health situation sorted out. I was on medications to lower the blood pressure and it took until early 2007 to find the cause. I finally went to a naturopath who found that a microscopic parasite was the cause for all this.

While getting my health in order, I took up blogging to share my photography. This way I wasn't wasting time and others got to enjoy the photos, not just me and those close to me.

In May of this year I had a mini-stroke cause again by severely high blood pressure. I may end up gong to the naturopath again since the specialist and other MDs can't seem to find the cause. This has only been a problem out here. Before that in Ontario, the blood pressure was only marginally high, not severely high like in BC.

Knowledge is good because being forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, enjoy this blog and all the photos I share with you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

upper mekong river

For the past few weeks I've been watching a series of programs on the Knowledge Channel (based here in British Columbia) that has to do with the Mekong River in southeast Asia. That river has its source in the Tibetan Plateau in China (Tibet). A map from Wikipedia above shows the countries through which the river flows on its way south to the sea.
The larger map above, also from Wikipedia, shows the Tibetan Plateau in greater details. Its an important source for a number of important Asian rivers, the Mekong River being just one of the many.
There are a number of endangered species of animals in the upper Mekong River (Yunnan) before reaching the Tibetan plateau. Some are the Yunnan Golden Monkey (above), the Red Panda and the Asiatic Black Bear to name a few.

The program also dealt with fishing with cormorants in one of the alpine lakes. To learn more about this and other aspects of the Mekong River you can start your research by Googling. This is a fascinating planet, don't you think, despite all the harm we've done to it in recent times? - V

Sunday, April 3, 2011

geothermal energy

Iceland has long been known for its volcanic and geothermal activities. I've had an interest in the country proper, including its history, since the 1960s. Founded in 874 A.D. the island country sits on both the North American and European tectonic plates with the major fault line running through the middle of the island from north to south.
Iceland gets its power from three sources: geothermal (24 percent), hydro electric (75.4 percent) and fossil fuels (0.1 percent). Fossil fuels are used by mostly vehicles and the fishing fleet.

The photo above shows the Blue Lagoon Thermal Spa which is situated on a lava field at Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula 39 km (24 miles) from the capital of Reykjavik. The water from the thermal plant is the source of the blue water in the lagoon. The water is changed every 2 days and gets its blueish colour from the minerals in it.

Aside from Iceland there are a number of other areas where geothermal energy is in use or in use as a trial project. Northern California, Soultz (Alsace), France and Basel, Switzerland come to mind. I was watching a special program on tv last evening which dealt with the geothermal issue, especially that in northern California and in Soultz. You can learn more about the European Hot Dry Rock Project in Soultz by going here.

The project in Basel had to be stopped because of seismic activity. If you go to Google and search on geothermal energy, you will find the countries named where projects are underway. Surprisingly there seems to be no mention of Canada, even though British Columbia certainly has the potential of producing geothermal energy.

Then there is solar energy which will be the focus of another post. Geothermal and solar energy appear to be the way of the future with fossil fuels on the way out. You be the judge! - V
P.S. - All three photos concerning Iceland are courtesy of the Wikipedia Commons and posted according to the GNU Free Document License. Check out Google for more on Iceland plus other countries and projects mentioned here.