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Girl Guides of Canada, new leader, new uniform, new directions

The Girls Guides of Canada has a new leader, and is also showing off a brand new uniform for girls aged five to 18.

Sharron Callahan of Newfoundlane and Labrador is the new and recently installed Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada
She has been involved with Canadian Guiding from her own childhood first as a brownie, then later in life in a variety of leadership roles.

To talk about the new uniforms and modern additions to the focus of guiding, RCI's Marc Montgomery spoke to Chief Commissioner Callahan earlier this week

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Are you an early riser, or a night owl? Check your DNA

New research has discovered a genetic factor that helps to determine whether you are predisposed to get up early in the morning, or whether you like to stay up and active late at night.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences neurologist, and  University of Toronto professor, Dr Andrew Lim, lead the research which was seeking to determine if genetic mutations can account for differences in people’s circadian rhythm, or internal biological clock. In other words why some entire families tend to be early risers, while others tend to be active later into the night.  The findings were published in the November issue of Annals of Neurology.

As a byproduct of the study, the research also found out that the same genetic traits also determine whether you are more likely to die around 11AM, or around 6 PM

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High-level cyber-attacks could put Canadians out of work, says professor

Confidential briefing notes from the Public Safety Department reveal that Canada may be moving from being mostly a 'target' of organized cyber-crime coming from other countries, to a 'host' of cyber-crime activities.

"[Malicious cyber-activities] may be shifting to more developed countries such as Canada, the U.S. and France — countries with good reputations," say the notes, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

But according to David Skillicorn, professor in the School of Computing at Queen’s University, in Kingston, higher-level cyber-attacks are of greater concern.

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Geothermal energy recovery from mining

Around many operating mine sites, there are cooling basins for water that is continually pumped out of the mine to keep it from flooding. Because the water comes from deep underground, it is often very warm, in fact keeping temperature cool for miners underground is an expensive proposition.

J. Ashley Scott, is a bio-engineering professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury who saw the warm pools of water around the mining town, and began looking into the issue of putting that heated water to use.

He says around the world there are about a ten operations using mine water in geothermal recovery technology, in spite of the fact there are about a million abandoned mines worldwide, and some 5,000 in Ontario alone!

He notes there are somewhat different technologies involved in using warm water from flooded abandoned mines, and warm water removal from functioning mines, although the amount of potential for energy recovery can be substantial in either case.  He also notes that creating a geo-thermal recovery in a new or expanding operating mine could cost much less than from abandoned mines where the costs would be greater, although still advantageous in most circumstances.

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Canada's National Flag Day

This week marks an important national anniversary for Canada.  On February 15th, 1965, the first distinctly Canada official national flag was raised in the cold air on Parliament Hill, in the national capital, Ottawa.

The idea was first proposed, to unappreciative even hostile reception, in the late 1950's.  Remaining fairly quiet at first, the debate began to heat up as the 1960's progressed.  The final design came after a long and often extremely bitter national debate on the political scene between the Liberal Prime Minister, Lester Pearson, seeking a new distinctly Canadian flag, and the Conservative opposition leader John Diefenbaker who staunchly supported the old Canadian Red Ensign of British Naval heritage.  

At the same time, the debate was also raging across all of Canada, and it too was at times very bitter, and yet it was an extremely exciting debate about creating a distinctly Canadian symbol, and to have it in time for Canada’s centennial year, when Canada would host the world at the international world fair, Expo 67.

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