Cantastic Authorpalooza: Kenneth Oppel

Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by great Canadian children’s writers! Except for today, because I was traveling, and then I was sick, and then suddenly the post was due. So instead, please enjoy a review of one of the lesser-known-but-equally awesome books by the beloved Kenneth Oppel. Synopsis (from Chapters’ website): When Ben Tomlin’s mother brings home his “new baby brother,” an eight-day-old chimpanzee, Ben is far from thrilled. His father, a renowned behavioural…

Continue reading


New Technology Revealed Record-Setting Fox Journey, Says Canadian Science Author

News that an arctic fox from Svalbard, Norway, traveled 3,506 km across the sea ice to Ellesmere Island, Canada surprised social media, but not Dr. L. E. Carmichael. The Ontario author of children’s science books is also a scientist whose research revolved around the movements of these plucky little voyagers. Carmichael’s PhD, on the population genetics of wolves and arctic foxes, received a Governor General’s Medal at the University of Alberta in 2006. “In those…

Continue reading


The (Missing) Link Between Smartphones and Horns

by L. E. CarmichaelLast weekend, suffering from an airplane cold and soaking my coughing muscles in a hot tub while listening to old episodes of The Daily Show on Sirius on Demand, I heard an incredible story about how smartphone use is causing millennials to grow horns. Here's the link to coverage at the BBC.Image by Shahar D. and Sayers M., Scientific Reports, 2019/CC BY 4.0Hacking up my second lung, my first thought in reaction to this story…

Continue reading


Why the citizen science hub thing we started might change the Great Lakes forever

Me, far right. That’s the smile of someone who really loves water quality monitoring. Some time in 2001, I took my first water sample. I know it was in Toronto, but I’m not sure where it was. It could have been a leaking landfill at King’s Mill Park on the Humber River, an old gas station seeping into Wendigo Creek in High Park, or a sewer pipe emptying into Taylor Massey Creek.The funny thing about…

Continue reading


Study finds closed beaches, contaminated water around Ontario

In 2002-2003, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper sought to find whether a little-known provincial water quality goal (Procedure F-5-5) was protecting waterways from the impacts of combined sewer overflows and keeping our beaches clean enough for swimming.Key findings:65% of all samples included in study did not meet Provincial Water Quality Objectives.79% of all samples taken by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper did not meet Provincial Water Quality Objectives.Dry weather overflows still occur in 100% of the regions studied.Only 9…

Continue reading