Monday, June 01, 2009

Recent Happenings

While at school I regularly read the news online (like every good Communication student should), but once I'm home I forget to keep up with current events. I spend the majority of my free time reading all the books that I never had time to read while at SAU. I do keep some sense of what is going on in the world because I sometimes overhear the news when my dad watches it at 5 or 11 p.m. (my bedroom is right beside the TV room) and I occasionally listen to the local news on the radio as I'm driving around town. However my world knowledge isn't as up to date in the summer as it is during the school year. Today at work, I realized that I hadn't actually read any online news since I left school, so I decided to dedicate my lunch break to catching up with what's happening around the globe. Here are some of the interesting (at least to me) articles that have gone to press in the past couple days.

1st: The last survivor of the Titanic, 97-year-old Millvina Dean, died yesterday, which, interestly, was also the 98th anniversary of the Titanic's hull being launched.

2nd: Staying with the British theme, London's famous Big Ben clock started ticking for the first time 150 years ago yesterday.

3rd: Border officials (both Canadian and American) began requesting passports from visitors to either country as the WHTI — the U.S.-legislated Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative — went into effect today. CBC reports, "The new ruling requires anyone from the Western Hemisphere entering the United States to produce a document that contains photo identification and proof of citizenship." Canada decided to go along with the U.S. in applying the law which will make crossing the world's largest undefended border more difficult for North Americans. I personally was flabbergasted to read the negative comments on the passport story. I've know about these new rules for years now, especially since the date kept getting pushed back in order that everyone would have adequate time to apply for a passport. I'm actually not sure how anyone these days can survive without a passport. I was also surprised, and quite amused, after reading George W. Bush and Bill Clinton's reactions to the new border rules (scroll halfway down). How can these two former presidents not even have heard about the WHTI.

4th: The world's largest jetliner, the double-decker Airbus A380 with room for up to 800 passengers on board, made it's first commercial landing in Canada this morning at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. The Emirates Airlines plane will fly between Dubai and Toronto three times weekly.

5th: Also flying related, a Canadian astronaut, Bob Thirsk, packed several Canadian mementos along for his six-month stay on the International Space Station. This trip involves a lot of first for Canadians in space (read the article for more specifics) and I think it's pretty cool that Thirsk hails from BC.

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