Wee Forest Fire at UBC

A small fire in Pacific Spirit Park at UBC! Oh my!

The fire is in the ravine near Wreck Beach, in hilly and forested terrain (which is why the firefighters are having such a tough time tackling the fire –  the fire started around midnight, but firefighters could only “babysit” the fire overnight until the sun came up so they could see. Luckily, the fire looks contained.)

SW Marine Drive is closed down between Totem Park and 16th for fire crews. There are reports coming in now that it’ll take a day to put out the fire.

The official UBC sources of information are the UBC Emergency site and @UBCNews.

Stay safe, everyone.

Another foot washed up in the Pacific Northwest

This time, near Tacoma:

A photo of the shoe. Image from ctv.ca

From the CTV story:

Police in Washington State are offering a $1,000 award for information after the discovery of another detached foot on the shores of the Pacific Northwest.

The right foot was found on Dec. 5 in the city of Tacoma, south of Seattle.

The detached foot was inside a boy’s size 6 OzArk Trail brand hiking boot, which police believes belonged to a youth or small adult. The boots were sold in Walmart stores in 2004 and 2005.

Read more…

This is continually strange. We’ll see if they can find out what happening.


This all started in 2007, finding disarticulated feet washed up on the beaches of BC and upper Washington State. I could go on, but I recommend the Wikipedia article (even if it’s not updated with #10):Wikipedia: Pacific Northwest human foot discoveries.

Very. Very. Strange.

The 9th foot

Another human foot washed up on the beaches in the Pacifc Northwest, this time on Whitdbey Island in Washington State. Police say that based on the size of the foot, it’s likely from a woman or a young adult.

This is number nine (since 2007)

The Globe has the best article with backstory, including quotes. If you want your news more bite-sized, the CTV story and the CBC story. As an aside, reading comments on the CBC site make my IQ drop.

See more on the feet on this blog.

Plants! That! Maim!

Globe and Mail: Giant weed that can cause blindness popping up in Ontario, B.C.

Money Quote:

While it may look bewildering — almost begging to be examined by an amateur botanist or a green thumb — the consequences of touching the weed could scar a person for life.

“The sap gets activated by sunlight, so once you get out on the sun it reacts and can cause really bad burns, blistering and scars,” said Mr. Muzzi.

It has also been known to cause temporary blindness or, in extreme cases, permanent loss of eyesight, said Mr. Muzzi.

As they say in the lab, sweet jesus.


I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan of the heat. There’s a large swath of Danish in my genetic background and we haven’t really evolved to deal with heatwaves. Icewaves, yes. Heatwaves, no.

Well, at least not until this whole global climate change thing hit. There was a story in the news recently about how these weather extremes are going to be the new norm… all I can say is ew.

CTV: Extreme heat wave example of climate change: expert

Some other bits of news, because it’s been a while since I did a news post:

Canada appoints new governor general, but it’s not William Shatner

This one makes me angry: More than 70 per cent of Canadian university freshmen admitted to cheating at least once on high school assignments and another 60 per cent admitted to “serious acts of cheating” on tests.

One close to my heart: a 24Hours column about focusing on pedestrian safety in Vancouver. Or as I like to call it, “What safety”?

Learning in wee child brains

I’m always up for developments in the science! of how people learn. There’s an article in yesterday’s NYT about cognitive learning in math in preschoolers. It’s pretty nifty.

Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them: For much of the last century, educators and many scientists believed that children could not learn math at all before the age of five, that their brains simply were not ready.

But recent research has turned that assumption on its head — that, and a host of other conventional wisdom about geometry, reading, language and self-control in class. The findings, mostly from a branch of research called cognitive neuroscience, are helping to clarify when young brains are best able to grasp fundamental concepts.[more]

Sadly, coffee doesn't make the alcohol go away

CNN: FDA: Caffeinated alcoholic drinks may be illegal

In September, 18 attorneys general from states including Connecticut, Utah, California and New York sent a letter to the FDA outlining why they consider such drinks dangerous… The letter cited several studies that showed stimulants such as caffeine mask the intoxicating effects of alcohol and could lead to increased risk-taking and other alcohol-related problems such as violence, sexual assault, traffic accidents and even suicide.

This is one of those ORLY moments. ORLY? Adding caffeine to booze might not be the healthiest of things?

Yes. O RLY.

Another foot!

This is the eighth detached foot found washed onto the coast of BC and Washington State.

From the CBC:

The RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating the remains of a right foot found inside a running shoe Tuesday on a beach in the city of Richmond, south of Vancouver. The shoe was found near No. 6 Road and Triangle Road, close to the Massey Tunnel, which runs under the south arm of the Fraser River….

In this latest find, two men walking on the beach located what appeared to be a foot in a size eight and a half white Nike running shoe, according to an RCMP news release issued Wednesday.

Other Sources:

Globe and Mail