Iran says Canada’s sale of properties ‘unlawful’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Iran says Canada’s sale of properties ‘unlawful’

Xinhua

Iranian Foreign Ministry has said that the recent sale of Iran’s properties in Canada by the Canadian government is “unlawful,” Iran’s state TV reported on Saturday.

Based on a Canadian ruling back in 2016 and later an endorsement by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, seized Iranian government properties worth of tens of millions of dollars have been sold in Canada and the proceeds have been handed to “victims of terrorist groups (allegedly) sponsored by Iran.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Friday dismissed the Canadian move, saying that it is “a clear breach of the international law.”

Mousavi urged the Canadian government to “immediately” return the properties and revoke the decision.

“If Ottawa fails to immediately revoke the unlawful decision and does not compensate the damage, Tehran will take action to restore its rights based on international regulations,” he was quoted as saying.

“The government of Canada will be held responsible for all the consequences,” he added.

8 of the Largest Man-Made Lakes in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

8 of the Largest Man-Made Lakes in the World

Humans (and beavers) have been manipulating water flow for millennia, but it wasn’t until recently that we developed the materials we’d need to create enormous bodies of water. Once we did, we created some of the largest lakes and inland seas the Earth’s ever held. Here are eight of the largest man-made lakes in the world.

Williston Lake | British Columbia, Canada

Credit: WildLivingArts/iStock

70 Billion Cubic Meters

Williston Lake was formed in 1968 with the completion of W.A.C. Bennet Dam, blocking the Peace River and creating the largest body of freshwater in British Columbia. Besides being a huge source of electricity, the lake’s nice to look at. It’s bordered by the Cassiar Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east, both being striking natural features. In fact, Williston Lake comes close to a fjord in some respects.

Krasnoyarsk Reservoir | Divnogorsk, Russia

Credit: Evgeny Vorobyev/Shutterstock

73.3 Billion Cubic Meters

Besides its massive size (a size that’s earned it the informal name of the Krasnoyarsk Sea), the Krasnoyarsk Reservoir’s claim to fame is being the world’s largest power plant from 1971 to 1983. In 1983, it was unseated by the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. The reservoir and the dam also appear on the 10 ruble bill, meaning most Russians have at least seen the thing in a picture, if not in person. A final note on the dam is the fact that a substantial section of the river below it doesn’t freeze over, even though it’s in frigid Siberia. This is because the water’s moving much too fast coming out of the dam and for miles downstream.

Manicouagan Reservoir | Quebec, Canada

Credit: Elena11/Shutterstock

138 Billion Cubic Meters

The Manicouagan Reservoir is a perfect intersection of human engineering and natural phenomena. Human engineering produced the reservoir when the Daniel-Johnson Dam was built in the 1960s. The natural aspect concerns the reservoir’s unique ring shape. The shape was created by an asteroid impact roughly 214 million years ago. That means Manicouagan Reservoir is actually a flooded crater, similar to Crater Lake (except Crater Lake is far younger and a volcano). There’s a theory that the Manicouagan crater is actually part of a multiple impact event spanning modern day North America and Europe.

Guri Reservoir | Bolivar, Venezuela

Credit: CarmeloGil/iStock

138 Billion Cubic Meters

It doesn’t look like the publicity around the Guri Reservoir is entirely good. For one, apparently the Guri Dam generates more carbon emissions than the fossil fuel alternative, which is about as hard to do as you’d think. There have also been some substantial blackouts in the 21st century, and the reservoir has a tendency to fall below optimum levels for electrical production. Still, it’s a big lake, right?

Lake Volta | Ajena, Ghana

Credit: Robert_Ford/iStock

153 Billion Cubic Meters

Just like all the other lakes on this list, Lake Volta wouldn’t be around without a dam to fill it up. In this case, it’s Akosombo Dam, built between 1961 and 1965. Interesting to note about Lake Volta, before the dam was built, the Black Volta and White Volta rivers used to meet, but once the lake started filling in, that confluence was wiped away. It’s a navigable lake, which was probably part of the point of building the dam. With it, the trip from the savanna to the coast and vice versa got a lot easier.

Bratsk Reservoir | Bratsk, Russia

Credit: fibPhoto/Shutterstock

169 Billion Cubic Meters

As much as we hate to play into stereotypes, it seems like Russians really know how to handle the cold. The Bratsk Dam was built through Siberian winters, far away from the things needed to build it, including supplies, laborers and construction support. But they did it anyway and ended up with the Bratsk Reservoir to show for it. The reservoir is on the Angara River and just to show it’s not a one-off, there are four other power-producing facilities on the same river, with stations in Irkutsk, Ust-Ilim and Boguchany.

Lake Nasser | Egypt and Sudan

Credit: Shootdiem/Shutterstock

169 Billion Cubic Meters

The construction of the Aswan High Dam, and by extension the formation of Lake Nasser, came with some uniquely Egyptian challenges. Namely, the fact that a large number of historical sites would be submerged by the filling lake, with the tombs and temples of Philae and Abu Simbel at the greatest risk. Luckily, the Egyptian government didn’t plow ahead the way other countries have been known to. The Egyptians worked with UNESCO to move the sites to higher ground.

Lake Kariba | Zambia and Zimbabwe

Credit: Lynn Yeh/Shutterstock

180 Billion Cubic Meters

The impressive Lake Kariba is an excellent example of lake creation done right. The dam produces plenty of electricity for the surrounding area, and its existence has given rise to a thriving tourism industry and also increased biodiversity. There was a short five-year period when the rate of earthquakes increased, but that hasn’t stuck around. What has is the tiger fish, tilapia, catfish and vundu, all supporting a strong fishing industry. And the water. A truly awesome amount of water has stuck around. It’s closer to an inland sea than anything else.

Ten arrested in connection with Montreal’s eighth homicide of the year

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MONTREAL GAZETTE) 

 

Ten arrested in connection with Montreal’s eighth homicide of the year

One minor was among the 10 arrests in connection with a street fight in the Villeray district in July.

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Montreal police arrested 10 people — including one minor — on Thursday in connection with the city’s eighth homicide of the year.

According to the SPVM, the suspects reside in Montreal, Terrebonne and Boisbriand. Police apprehended the suspects after conducting searches related to the investigation on July 25 and Aug. 15.

The suspects will be questioned by investigators in the coming days.

On the morning of July 21, a man died from a head injury inflicted by a sharp object during a street fight in the Villeray district, becoming Montreal’s eighth homicide of the year.

The previous night, police drove to Louis-Hémon St. after a call was placed to 911 at 9:10 p.m.

They found two men: the 49-year-old victim and a 24-year-old man whose injuries were not life-threatening. Both were taken to a hospital.

The attackers had fled the scene by the time police arrived.

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Quebec Superior Court overturns province’s ban on homegrown cannabis

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MONTREAL GAZETTE)

 

Quebec Superior Court overturns province’s ban on homegrown cannabis

Ruling means that Quebecers are now free to cultivate up to four cannabis plants at home without facing legal repercussions.

“As a Quebec citizen, I subscribe to the idea that it’s better to control cannabis by allowing it to be grown at home,” said Julien Fortier, the lawyer who led the challenge. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE

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Quebec Superior Court Judge Manon Lavoie overturned the province’s ban on homegrown cannabis on Tuesday, meaning that Quebecers are now free to cultivate cannabis at home without facing legal repercussions.

In June 2018, the provincial government passed Quebec’s cannabis law, which included provisions banning the cultivation of cannabis at home.

However, Lavoie ruled that these provisions are unconstitutional as they infringe upon the jurisdiction of the federal government, which has sole responsibility for legislating on criminal matters.

As a result, homegrown cannabis in Quebec is now regulated by Canadian law, which allows citizens to grow up to four cannabis plants.

“As a Quebec citizen, I subscribe to the idea that it’s better to control cannabis by allowing it to be grown at home,” said Julien Fortier, the lawyer who led the challenge.

Fortier took on the case after being approached by Janick Murray Hall, who wanted to bring the action to court on behalf of all those in Quebec who have been prosecuted for being in possession of cannabis plants.

According to the lawyer, Lavoie’s ruling fits with why the government opted to legalize cannabis in the first place.

“The entire idea behind the legalization of cannabis was that the government wanted to remove the production of this plant from organized crime,” Fortier said. “If you allow people to cultivate this plant themselves, that purpose would be achieved.”

Still, Fortier is urging Quebec home growers to avoid celebrating prematurely, as the provincial government has 30 days to file a petition to the Court of Appeal. In fact, he warns there is a “very strong chance” the government will seek an appeal.

“I don’t think the Quebec government will do nothing and let it slide,” he said. “Regardless, we’re looking forward to the fight.”

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6 Longest Highways on the Planet

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

6 Longest Highways on the Planet

If you’re used to traveling by car, you’re probably quite familiar with the highways in your local area. These lengthy stretches of empty roadway can seem nearly endless on long trips and are notorious for prompting complaints from the backseat. And while no roadway lasts forever, these six highways come the closest. Buckle up and prepare for an epic road trip.

6. National Highway 010 – China

Credit: Anna Frodesiak / Wikimedia

First on our list is National Highway 010, the longest highway in China. Also known as the Tongsan Expressway, this highway is over 3,500 miles long and runs through nine of China’s major provinces. A curious feature of this highway is that it’s interrupted by the Qiongzhou Strait, where cars must be ferried across the water to reach the province of Hainan. However, after decades of research, China is finally exploring new ways to subvert this problem and connect Hainan with a dedicated road-rail tunnel.

5. Golden Quadrilateral Highway Network – India

Credit: Soham Banerjee / Wikimedia

Completed in 2012, India’s Golden Quadrilateral Highway Network is the newest roadway on this list yet already stands as the fifth-longest highway in the world. Spanning over 3,600 miles, the Golden Quadrilateral Network gets its name from the shape the roads make from connecting four of India’s major metropolitan areas: Delhi in the north, Chennai in the south, Kolkata in the east, and Mumbai in the west. It was an ambitious project that ended up creating a network of highways throughout all 13 of India’s states, and it stands to this day as the country’s primary transit route for commerce, industry, and agriculture.

4. Trans-Canada Highway – Canada

Credit: FrankvandenBergh / iStock

Ranking as the fourth-longest highway in the world and the second-longest national roadway is the Trans-Canada Highway. This long, interconnected system of roadways extends 4,860 miles, running through all 10 of Canada’s provinces and joining most of the country’s major cities. The Trans-Canada Highway took 21 years to build and required over $1 billion to finish, and the final results are pretty impressive: At the time of its completion, it was the world’s longest uninterrupted highway.

Of course, it wouldn’t hold this title for long, but it does still have a few cool features that others on this list don’t. For example, electric vehicle charging stations were installed along many segments of the highway in 2012, helping owners of electric cars make their trips across the country without relying on gasoline.

3. Trans-Siberian Highway – Russia

Credit: bksrus / iStock

With a total length of over 6,800 miles, the Trans-Siberian Highway is the longest highway in Russia and the Asian continent as a whole. Comprised of seven federal highways that were built separately and combined, the Trans-Siberian Highway runs an impressive distance from St. Petersburg in Western Russia all the way to the eastern city of Vladivostok.

Unlike some other highways on this list, the Trans-Siberian Highway is a dangerous route to travel. Many of the sections are poorly-maintained and extend far into the cold Russian tundra, with few gas stations or rest areas in sight. It’s recommended that drivers make the trip only between June and September when the weather is warm and the conditions are easier—if they must make the trip at all.

2. Highway 1 – Australia

Credit: Michael R Evans / Shutterstock.com

Runner-up on our list is Highway 1 in Australia. While it’s not the longest highway in the world compared to our first place winner, Highway 1 does bear the distinction of being the longest national highway owned by any single country, so it has that going for it.

Highway 1 is just over 9,000 miles long; a series of interconnected roads that connects to all of Australia’s major state capitals by way of a giant loop that circles the entire Australian continent. Known locally as the “Big Lap,” this long highway certainly isn’t the most direct way to travel around Australia — but it’s a popular route for motorists interested in taking a scenic tour of the country.

1. Pan-American Highway – North/South America

Credit: Vadim Petrakov / Shutterstock.com

The longest highway in the world is undoubtedly the Pan-American Highway. This sprawling maze of interconnected roadways spans over 29,000 miles, beginning up north in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and running all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Yep, that’s right—this particular highway runs nearly the entire length of North and South America combined. Motorists who travel the whole length of the highway will pass through 14 countries, two continents, and a diverse array of climates that include forests, prairies, jungles, deserts, and arctic tundra, to name a few. It’s a trip that few can claim to have made, but in terms of sheer length, this highway is second to none.

The World’s Longest Roadways

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Many of these highways are destinations for world travellers who love the road and want a challenge — but be careful on these long trips! Just because these regions are designated as “highways” doesn’t mean that they’re well-kept or safe in all areas. Make sure you do your research and prepare well in advance before tackling any of these.

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Canadian Teenage Murder Suspects Found Dead, Police Say

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Canadian Teenage Murder Suspects Found Dead, Police Say

ImageRoyal Canadian Mounted Police searching for the suspects last month near Gillam in Manitoba, Canada.
Credit Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Canadian police said on Wednesday that they believed they had found the bodies of two teenagers suspected of killing three people in British Columbia.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, had been the subject of an intense two-week manhunt that riveted the country. An autopsy was underway to confirm their identities, Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, the commanding officer of the Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said at a news conference.

But she said the police were confident the bodies belonged to the teenagers.

The bodies were found in northern Manitoba, the police said. Assistant Commissioner MacLatchy said the investigation had a breakthrough on Friday after police officers discovered personal items belonging to the suspects on the shorelines of the Nelson River. The police also found a damaged aluminum boat.

The discovery of the personal items led the police into a dense area of brush, about a kilometer away, where they found the bodies, the assistant commissioner said.

ImageThe suspects — Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 — in surveillance footage released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Credit Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The teenagers were suspects in the deaths of Leonard Dyck, a 64-year-old University of British Columbia lecturer, and a young couple: Lucas Fowler, 23, an Australian, and Chynna Deese, 24, an American.

This story is developing and will be updated soon.

6 Towns to Explore on the U.S.-Canada Border

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 Towns to Explore on the U.S.-Canada Border

The United States of America is the world’s fourth largest country and Canada is the second largest. It is hardly surprising then that the two share the world’s longest land border between two nations. Scattered along the 5,525 miles are hundreds of cities, towns and villages in addition to islands, lakes, national parks and waterfalls. Here’s six towns that will brighten up any journey along this immense frontier.

Derby Line, Vermont

Derby Line, Vermont

Credit: Cynthia Gauthier/Shutterstock

Derby Line, and its Canadian neighbor Standstead, Quebec, are one of the finest examples of a border town. The two share several streets, although the names change into French once you get into Canada. Rumor has it that officials were inebriated when mapping the border, and today it zigzags around houses and through public buildings. The best instance of this is at Haskell Free Library and Opera House, where the entrance is in the U.S. and the books in Canada. This is also the only place in the world to have a stage in one country and the audience in another.

Eureka, Montana

Eureka, Montana

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Just nine miles south of the border crossing between Montana and British Columbia is Eureka, a gateway to superb outdoor adventures. There’s great hiking on the Pacific Northwest Trail, which travels along the Tobacco River at the edge of town. Drive south on the Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway with tall pine forests on one side and views across the Kootenai River to Kootenai National Forest on the other. The fishing is superb at the Ten Lakes Scenic Area, as is the skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Eureka is also only a 90-minute drive from the heart of Glacier National Park.

International Falls, Minnesota

International Falls, Minnesota

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International Falls has the cult claim to fame of being the inspiration for Frostbite Falls, the hometown of the protagonists from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends. The city lies on the opposite side of the Rainy River from Fort Frances, Ontario, and at the point where the river meets Rainy Lake. A major attraction of the town is the opportunity to view the aurora borealis (northern lights) from Voyageurs National Park. Across the river, Fort Frances is a starting point for cross-country skiing, ice-fishing and snowshoeing in Ontario.

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Lubec, Maine

Lubec, Maine

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A bayside setting and clapboard houses surrounded by white picket fences give Lubec a quintessential New England charm. Interestingly, for geography fanatics at least, this is the closest point of the U.S. mainland to Africa. While here you can visit the McCurdy Smokehouse Museum, which retraces the town’s once booming smoked fish industry. South of town, the picture perfect West Quoddy Head Lighthouse has great views over the Bay of Fundy. Passport in hand, cross the Lubec Narrows waterway and visit Roosevelt Campobello International Park, an island retreat and former summer residence of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

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Straddling one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls are two cities that go by the same name and are linked by the arched Rainbow International Bridge. The Niagara Scenic Byway brings you into New York State’s Niagara Falls, the home of the Niagara Falls State Park. Come here to ride the Maid of the Mist boat and descend slippery wooden walkways to the Cave of the Winds. With amusement arcades, quirky museums, an observation wheel, and vibrant nightlife, the Canadian Niagara Falls is somewhat of mini theme park. There’s unbeatable views of Horseshoe Falls, too, and the fascinating Journey Behind the Falls attraction. Not bad for a 30-minute drive from Buffalo or 90-minute car journey from Toronto.

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

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Until 1812, Sault Ste. Marie, and its namesake sister city in Ontario, were one city that sat on either side of St. Mary’s River. Today the aptly named Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge connects the two. In Michigan’s version, history fanatics flock to the Museum Ship Valley Campto learn about the wrecked SS Edmund Fitzgerald. The Tower of History affords uninterrupted views of ships arriving at the river’s canal locks. A 40-minute scenic drive from downtown is Point Iroquois Lighthouse, the place where Lake Superior flows into St. Mary’s River. Over the bridge you’ll find a pretty 19th-century red sandstone storehouse at Sault Ste. Marie Canal and riverside walking trails at Whitefish Indian Island Reserve.

Proud to Live in a Town Called Dildo…Newfoundland

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Proud to Live in a Town Called Dildo

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Credit Cari Vander Yacht

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An hour’s drive from the town of Come By Chance, past Spread Eagle Island, there is a large green traffic sign that often functions as its very own destination: “Dildo,” the sign proclaims, with an arrow pointing straight ahead.

The idyllic fishing village of Dildo, Newfoundland, is home to about 1,200 people, most of whom refer to themselves quite proudly as Dildoians. Where did the town get its name? The locals, eager to dispel misguided notions about sex toys, offer a variety of theories — a 16th-century Spanish sailor, maybe, or an archaic term for an oblong piece of nautical gear.

The fishing and whaling industries have defined Dildo society for centuries, and the town celebrates them with an annual waterfront festival known as Dildo Days (July 27-31 this year). A flotilla of boats circles the bay, led by a wooden statue of a certain Capt. Dildo in a rain slicker painted bright yellow. Souvenir-hunting visitors can purchase commemorative apparel, but be forewarned: The “I Survived Dildo Days” T-shirts sell out fast.

A few Dildoians have had second thoughts over the years. A local electrician even started a public campaign in 1990 to have the town rechristened. But he was forced to drop the effort after a wave of harassment from residents who were offended by anyone’s taking offense at the name.

Still, Dildoians can count themselves lucky. At least they do not live just a bit farther up the Newfoundland coast — on Ass Rock.

What in the World offers you glimpses of what our journalists are observing around the globe. Let us know what you think: [email protected]

9 Things You Never Knew About Canada

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

9 Things You Never Knew About Canada

With Canada Day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate the country than with some weird and wonderful facts? You may already know that the country stretches across six different time zones and has the longest coastline in the world. However, there are many other wonderful oddities that may surprise you. Read on for nine facts you never knew about the Great White North.

Canadians Love to Say ‘Sorry’

Canadians Love to Say 'Sorry'

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Canadians are so polite that they’ll say sorry even if they aren’t in the wrong. In fact, the desire to apologize is so strong that the country passed The Apology Act in 2009. The act means that if the word “sorry” is used in court, it can only be taken as an expression of sympathy or regret, not an admission of guilt.

There’s a Town Called Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!

There’s a Town Called Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!

Credit: David Boutin/Shutterstock

As well as being apologetic, Canadians are pretty funny. This town, in Quebec, is up there with some of the most amusing names we’ve heard. There is a little more to it than just wanting to sound amusing, though. The expression ha-ha was used in the country to explain an unexpected obstacle, in this case, nearby Lake Témiscouata. What’s more, the town is the only place name in the world with two exclamation marks. It’s so surprising, they exclaimed it twice.

Road Safety Is for Animals Too

Road Safety Is for Animals Too

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The Trans-Canada Highway boasts wildlife crossings in Banff National Park. Roaring traffic on the road doesn’t hinder big mammals crossing the road, which is highly dangerous to the mammals and drivers alike. The underpasses and overpasses in the park are used by grizzly bears, moose, lynxes and more so they can get safely to the other side.

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Canada Is Ready for Alien Invasions

Canada Is Ready for Alien Invasions

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Again, highlighting how friendly the Canadians are, in 1967, they built the world’s first UFO Landing Pad. The Centennial project was funded by the town with local businesses providing the building supplies and labor. The aim was to attract foreigners, both from this world and beyond, welcoming all visitors to the Town of St. Paul, Alberta.

There’s a Secret Underground Laboratory

There’s a Secret Underground Laboratory

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Underneath the nickel mines of Sudbury, Ontario, lies a secret underground physics laboratory. SNOLAB lies at a depth of 2 km below the surface, creating a good environment for sensitive experiments. As the deepest clean laboratory in the world, the site is used for the study of dark matter physics.

The Largest Concentration of Snakes in the World

The Largest Concentration of Snakes in the World

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If you’re afraid of snakes, then Manitoba may well not be the place for you, especially in May. The snake population in the early 2000s was dangerously low, so the Narcisse Snake Pits Wildlife Management Area was born. Today, the area has the largest population of snakes in the world, around 70,000, in fact. The most prolific are the red-sided garter snakes.

There Is a Polar Bear Prison

There Is a Polar Bear Prison

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There are plenty of polar bears in Canada. In fact, 60% of the world’s population of polar bears spend most of their time there. The town of Churchill in Manitoba is famous as a key stop-off point on their winter migration up Hudson Bay. However, there are so many bears that at times they outnumber the town’s population. With so many bears and so few people, it’s vital to keep them in check. The polar bear prison, located in a former aircraft storage hangar, is reserved for animals who don’t take the hint not to keep coming back to the town. They’re released on good behavior, of course.

Canadians Eat a Lot of Donuts

Canadians Eat a Lot of Donuts

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It may seem like a stereotype, but Canadians really do like donuts, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They love them so much, in fact, that there are more donut shops per capita than in any other country. The famous Tim Hortons brand has become synonymous with the country, building a coffee and donut community culture that keeps residents coming back for more.

Canada Has National Parks Bigger Than Entire Countries

Canada Has National Parks Bigger Than Entire Countries

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Canada is a huge country with a huge amount of national parks and, you guessed it, they’re huge. In fact, many of Canada’s national parks are bigger than entire countries. The largest of the parks, Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, is bigger than countries like Denmark and Switzerland. The park was created in 1922 to protect its enormous wood bison herd. Home to an intriguing array of wildlife, the park is also the last known nesting site of the endangered whooping crane.

5 Old Olympics Facilities You Can Still Visit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Old Olympics Facilities You Can Still Visit

The Olympic Games are the leading international sporting events that still bring the world together. Thousands of athletic competitors from more than 200 nations participate and compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals. Media coverage is intense, sports records are broken, and stories of hope, despair, and triumph generate both empathy and world acclaim.

Since the ancient Olympics games held in Olympia, Greece, the winter and summer Olympics evolved into the modern versions we know today, which have taken place at elaborate facilities across the globe. Here are a few you can still visit to relive the glory.

Olympia, Greece: Ancient Olympic Games

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The roots of the Olympic Games are religious and athletic festivals held in honor of Zeus in Olympia on the Peloponnese Peninsula. During classical times, athletics and combat sports such as wrestling, javelin, and horse and chariot racing events were common.

Starting in 776 BC, they continued every four years through Greek and Roman rule until AD 393 when Theodosius suspended them to enforce Christianity. You can immerse yourself in ancient history by exploring the remnants of the once-grand Stadium at Olympia.

Olympia is located a 3.5-hour drive from Athens. Now transformed into a tourist destination, there is plenty to see and do. The archaeological site itself is surrounded by the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Antiquity, the Museum of the History of Excavations in Olympia, and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

The ancient site lies a brief five-minute walk from the main entrance. The sanctuary includes the gymnasium, the Temple of Hera, the Philippeion, and other fragments of buildings, statues, and monuments.

Berlin, Germany: Olympic Village (1936)

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This is where the Jews were barred from participating in 1936 during the Nazi rule. Berlin was awarded the Olympic contract two years before being taken over by the Nazis. They were the first Olympic games to be broadcast worldwide, and the competitions were not just for athletes but political messages, as well.

The Olympic village was built approximately 20 miles from the western edge of Berlin. The venue includes training facilities, a swimming pool, and low-level dormitories. The 1936 Olympics saw African-American Jesse Owens make history, earning four gold medals in the track and field events and setting three world records in the process. After the Olympics, the facility underwent renovations and became a hospital, then a Soviet military camp. Tours are available; however, be aware that the center is in decay.

Beijing, China: Birds Nest Stadium (2008)

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Designed for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the National Stadium—perhaps better known as the Bird’s Nest—was the largest facility created for the games. The one-of-a-kind architecture interprets nature in its rendering of a bird’s nest.

The specifications were daunting: The structure needed to be earthquake-proof, with 111,000 tons of steel and struts, yet visually lightweight, airy, and inspiring. As one of Beijing’s top landmarks, it has hosted many competitions and events. Weight throw, discus, track and field, football, and other sporting events were held at the Bird’s Nest.

For the full visual impact, plan your trip at night to see the artistic illumination. Currently, it is used as a soccer stadium but is open for visitors and will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Athens, Greece: Panathenaic Stadium (2004)

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Located on an ancient stadium site from the fourth century, the Panathenaic Stadium is a famous cultural and historic landmark in Athens, Greece. It is built entirely of marble and shaped as a parallelogram. It hosted the first modern games in 1896, and more recently, the 2004 games in Athens. This is where the iconic Olympic flame begins its trek to the new host city for every winter, summer, and youth games.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee owns, operates and manages the Panathenaic Stadium. Its mission is to advance, sponsor, and guard the Olympic Movement day and night, and to encourage the sporting spirit among the next generations. The modern-day stadium accommodates multi-purpose events for conferences, seminars, and athletics. You can take in classical history on a breathtaking tour with a certified guide, audio guide, or interactive nature journey.

Vancouver, Canada: Olympic Village Condos (2010)

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In 2010, Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The Millennium Development Group built one thousand units to accommodate close to 3,000 athletes and visitors. It is touted as the greenest, most environmentally-friendly complex in the world. The structures use natural solar heating, green roof practices, and other sustainable advances.

Do not expect to see artifacts of the 2010 Olympic Games as the property was re-purposed into a mixed-use community and open-space development. This compound is located on the southeast corner of False Creek, which has hiking, biking, shopping, and dog walking paths in a park near the Olympic Village. Vancouver’s famous (and protected) beaver community has taken up residence in the area.