Wednesday, 20 December 2006

polar bears, nature trivia, the gig and kitsch on keew

If you missed this weekend’s show you also missed my latest rant about polar bears. This will come as no surprise to most regular listeners, I expect. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a polar bear.

This particular discussion focused on a tv feature my mom told me about. The show looked at an educational program designed to raise awareness about the plight of polar bears by giving young people first hand experience with polar bear/human relations in Churchill, Manitoba. Polar bears have been considered a nuisance in the town, but they’ve also become a major tourist attraction, and the community has adopted non-harmful ways of dealing with bears that wander into town.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get much of a chance to bask in an optimistic glow about polar bears’ future prospects. According to a report issued by the WWF this week, five of the world’s 19 polar bear populations (all of the five are in Canada) are suffering from declining numbers. As I look out my window and see not even the slightest hint of snow it only reinforces my sense that the outlook for polar bears is not good.

Here’s a little Nature Canada trivia we also mentioned in this week’s show:
  • If 10,000 people use only recycled copy paper over the next year, we'd save 12,000 trees.
  • If 10,000 people wrap a gift in 100% recycled paper, we'd save about 64 trees.
  • The world's entire orangutan population exists on two Indonesian islands -- Borneo and Sumatra.
  • Orangutans spend 95% of their time in the trees, where they eat fruit. In roughly the last 15 years, an estimated 80% of the forests where the orangutans are found have been destroyed to allow illegal logging and palm oil plantations.
  • Of the world’s most recent 175 bird extinctions, 93% of those occurred on oceanic islands.
  • All but one of the 175 extinctions was caused by humans. The other one: a hurricane.

We threw in a couple of metal xmas ditties in honour of the season for making merry, but the musical apex of this week’s show was our interview with Stu Block, vocalist of Into Eternity. Trev and I have both developed a strong appreciation for the band’s new record, The Scattering of Ashes, so it was good to have an excuse to feature it.

If you’re in need of something to listen to on December 28 (3-5pm EST) tune into CKMS for our anti-holiday extra edition of KEEW.

On a side note, we brought up the Cancer Bats/The End/I Hate Sally/etc. show at The Gig on January 12 and went off into a little diatribe about local music venues… turns out The Gig isn’t a bar. It is in the old Hyland Theatre in downtown Kitchener, but the place has been converted to a community/arts venue (that also holds worship services!?).

A couple more side notes before I forget. The Von Trapps, sadly, do not sing with Austrian accents, but they do make good use of harmony. And the Stitch'n'Kitsch craft show was a great place to buy Christmas presents! Someone's getting a Herman Munster necklace... :)

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