Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Bike Train expands green travel options across Ontario

TORONTO, April 22, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Transportation Options, a non-profit based in Toronto, celebrated the fourth season of the Bike Train today with a Cycle Tourism Travel Expo at Union Station showcasing partner destinations and green travel in Ontario.

The Bike Train is an award-winning initiative that introduces bike racks onboard select passenger trains to destinations across Ontario, making cycling holidays easy and accessible. First launched as the Greenbelt Express between Toronto and Niagara in 2007, the service is now being offered on select passenger rail departures to Windsor/Essex & Point Pelee, North Bay and Eastern Ontario this summer.

The Ontario Minister for Tourism and Culture, the Hon. Michael Chan, Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation's Board of Directors, Helen Burstyn, and the President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Burkhard Mausberg, were on hand at the Travel Expo in celebration of Earth Day.

"Cycle tourism provides excellent tourism experiences while remaining environmentally sustainable," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. "The Bike Train generates more interest in cycle tourism and supports local economies along the way."

We're so pleased with the service the Greenbelt Express offers - a way for urban dwellers to experience the beauty and bounty of Niagara on two wheels instead of four", said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "Congratulations to Bike Train for its vision, its leadership and its commitment to ecotourism."

"With the new 2010 routes, the Bike Train has truly become an Ontario wide initiative," said Bike Train founder and Project Director Justin Lafontaine. "Ontario has so many cycling destinations within easy reach, it's easy to take a unique and eco-friendly cycling vacation this summer."

The featured Bike Train destinations and self-guided itineraries provide environmentally-friendly travel options for people of all ages and abilities. Most departures are from Toronto Union Station.

Windsor/Essex & Point Pelee
- 2 weekends -- June 17-20 and July 29-August 2
- Adults $145 return, in partnership with VIA Rail
- Optional activities include group rides, winery tours, visits to Point
Pelee National Park

North Bay
- 3 weekends -- July 16-18, August 13-16, September 24-26
- Adults $159 return, in partnership with Ontario Northland Rail
- Optional activities include group rides, Dreamcatcher Express,
Mountain Bike Race

Toronto-Niagara Greenbelt Express
- Friday evening and weekend service from May 21 to September 26, 2010
- Now served by GO Transit, Toronto-Niagara Falls one-way adult fare:
- Extra space for bicycles on weekends with 64 spaces for bicycles per
- Stops at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines
and Niagara Falls

Eastern Ontario
- Special promotional weekends to be announced for the summer.

Visit www.biketrain.ca for schedules, tickets and updates. Media tours, photo ops and interviews can be arranged. Photos and cycle tourism stats are also available upon request.

- Travel by train produces half the emissions of travel by personal
- Over 2,000 passengers have travelled on the Bike Train since 2007
- A majority of Toronto's population are now cyclists -- 54% up from 48%
in 1999
- Bike Train has won 2 Ontario Tourism Awards and 2 Toronto Bicycle
Friendly Awards
- The 42km Chrysler Greenway Trail connects Windsor to Leamington,
passing through rural agricultural landscapes, wineries and farms
- North Bay features several recreational trails and on road routes that
pass by lakes, bogs, wilderness and communities
- Ontario's Greenbelt has host of cycling on and off road cycling
routes, and it's bigger than PEI
- 900km Waterfront Trail runs from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec


The Bike Train Initiative is a project of Transportation Options, a non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating sustainable systems of transportation, and is supported by more than 45 organizations across Ontario. www.biketrain.ca

Our Funding Partners:

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (an agency of the Government of Ontario) www.trilliumfoundation.org

Government of Ontario www.ontario.ca

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation www.greenbelt.ca

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Will robots change us?

from HowStuffWorks.com
by Jonathan Strickland

Science fiction prepared us for life with robots long before it became a reality. They've already changed the way goods are manufactured, but can they truly change the way human beings live?

The field of robotics is complex. It's more than computer science and engineering. Disciplines ranging from medicine to philosophy are part of its foundation.

It's not hard to imagine a future in which robots are an integral part of our daily lives. There are dozens of science fiction stories focusing on robots in the future. In some, robots cater to our every need, freeing us from mundane tasks to concentrate on loftier subjects. In others, robots rise up against humanity and become our greatest threat. In any case, robots change the way humans behave and think....more story at

Saturday, 10 April 2010

CWF encourages Canadians to join in the Walk for Wildlife

OTTAWA, April 9, 2010 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation is urging Canadians to head outdoors and "Walk for Wildlife" to celebrate National Wildlife Week.

The Walk for Wildlife is a national campaign to encourage people from coast to coast to experience the wildlife and natural spaces in their region then log their kilometres at NationalWildlifeWeek.com. Walkers can log as often as they like, all kilometres will be added to our national tally. CWF will be keeping count of kilometres until May 22, International Day of Biodiversity. The goal is to log enough kilometres to go right across Canada creating national awareness about wildlife conservation and biodiversity.

"We are fortunate in our country to have some of the world's most spectacular wildlife all around us," says Wade Luzny, CWF Executive Vice-President. "The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. We're asking Canadians to head outdoors and discover Canada's biodiversity right in their own backyard and then tell us how far they walked for wildlife by logging their kilometres online."

Participants can join in the Walk for Wildlife by hiking through a nature trail, strolling through a park, hitting the city streets or any number of other outdoor activities that will allow them to connect with native species, plants and habitats.

"By encouraging people to get acquainted with some of the iconic species and scenic spaces that exist right across the country, we are hoping to inspire an even greater commitment to wildlife and biodiversity conservation," says Luzny. "We want to leave a lasting legacy, not only for wildlife but also for our children."

National Wildlife Week is celebrated each year the week of April 10th, in honour of the late Jack Miner, who was instrumental in founding Canada's conservation movement.

For more information about the National Wildlife Week and the Walk for Wildlife, visit NationalWildlifeWeeK.com


Sunday, 4 April 2010

Satellite to Hunt Mosquitoes from Space

from TreeHugger.com
by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York

The Cryosat-2 is a satellite launched by the European Space Agency to study the state of polar ice with cutting edge tech. But what's to be done with such a satellite's advanced radar altimeter and data collection capabilities when it's not over the poles? You use it to hunt mosquitoes from space, of course.

The satellite is designed to measure surface heights--according to the BBC, it "will record the rates of change in land and marine ice thickness very precisely."

But scientists will be putting the satellite's data gathering facilities to use even when its not measuring ice--check out the map below to see the zones it will be analyzing most intensely:

Obviously, the satellite will be studying ice thickness in zones 2 and 5 (around the Andes and the Himalayas), but as far as I know, there isn't a whole lot of ice in the Amazon and central Africa. And that's where the mosquito hunting comes in. The BBC explains: "I draw your attention though to Africa (4). Some of the data here will go into developing a tool that is about as far from ice-monitoring as you could imagine: a model to forecast the risk of malaria." Malaria kills some 800,000 people a year, 90% of those deaths are in Africa, and most of the victims are very young children.... Read the full story on TreeHugger

Friday, 2 April 2010

April is Daffodil Month

Join the Canadian Cancer Society and Their Corporate Partners in the Fight Against Cancer

TORONTO, April 1, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - With the support of generous corporate partners, the Canadian Cancer Society is fighting back against cancer. This April, the Society will raise funds and awareness in partnership with companies across Canada. Supporting the companies that support the Canadian Cancer Society is another way Canadians can join the fight against cancer.

Golf Canada encourages women to Golf Fore the Cure

The Canadian Cancer Society is proud to be Golf Canada's charity of choice for the Golf Fore the Cure series of events - the signature charity event of their Women's Division. The program's objective is to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer while promoting women's participation in the game of golf. In 2009, Golf Fore the Cure raised over $600,000 in support of Society-funded breast cancer research. Beginning in April, and continuing throughout the summer months, women across the country will participate in Golf Fore the Cure events in support of breast cancer research and local breast cancer support programs. For more information about Golf Fore the Cure or to find an event near you, visit www.rcgolfforethecure.ca.

Lady Precept helps fund breast cancer research

Lady Precept, a quality brand of golf balls designed for women, has joined the Canadian Cancer Society as a corporate partner in the fight against breast cancer. Lady Precept will donate $1.20 to the Society in support of breast cancer research for each pack of specially marked 'Pink Ribbon' Lady Precept MC golf balls sold. Lady Precept products are available at golf retailers across Canada, including Golf Town.

Nancy Lopez Golf joins the fight against breast cancer

Nancy Lopez Golf, the leader in women's golf equipment designed specifically for women and girls of all performance levels, has joined the Canadian Cancer Society as a corporate partner in the fight against breast cancer. Nancy Lopez Golf will contribute a portion of the proceeds from the sale of specially marked products to the Society in support of breast cancer research. Nancy Lopez Golf will donate ten per cent from the sale of equipment packages from its newly created "Pink Ribbon Collection". They will also donate $4 from the sale of specially designed "Pink Ribbon Collection" garments and $1.50 from the sale of specially designed 'Pink Ribbon Collection' headwear to the Society. For more information, visit www.nancylopezgolf.com.

Neutrogena(R) is working to fight skin cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society and Neutrogena(R) have once again joined together to educate Canadians about reducing their risk of skin cancer. United under the common goals of informing Canadians about the risks of the sun to their health and encouraging the use of sun protection products, Neutrogena(R) and the Society are "Working Together to Fight Skin Cancer." Throughout 2010, for every purchase of participating suncare products, Neutrogena(R) will donate $2 to the Society, up to a maximum of $200,000. For more information, visit www.neutrogena.ca.

Radisson Hotels invite you to "Stay for the Cause"

When you stay at a Radisson Hotel this April, you can join the fight against cancer. Throughout the month of April 2010, Radisson Hotels will proudly offer a special "Stay for the Cause" rate to customers at their 22 locations across Canada. Each participating hotel will donate 10 per cent of the room rate to the Canadian Cancer Society in support of lifesaving cancer research. Customers can book the special "Stay for the Cause" rate by calling 1 800 395-7046, through the Radisson website at www.radisson.com/stayforthecause or by visiting other popular travel sites such as Expedia.ca and Travelocity.ca.