Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Art Classes

I'll let the poster do the talking!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

That Far Smarter Bay

Ray Guy (one of many Placentia Baymen of deserved renown) always referred to Placentia as 'that far greater bay' --- but SmartBay.ca strives to make sure it's that far smarter bay, too.

SmartBay.ca is an information hub for Placentia Bay, right from St. Bride's up to Swift Current and down again to St. Lawrence.

The information available is current and diverse. It has extensive community profiles with exhaustive demographic information. It also has information on shipping, ocean sciences, industrial sites, local committees, and so forth.

For example, buoys are linked to the website and automatically report to it. So, I know that at 10:43 this morning, Maximum Wave Height off Placentia was 3.6 m (11.8 ft), among many other things.

It is sure to be an invaluable tool for anyone active in Placentia Bay, regardless of their field --- but surely its greatest strength is its networking potential.

2000+ visits

Just a little after 3 months after we've begun, I'm glad to say that The Placentia Blog has surpassed the 2,000 visits mark. In fact, as of this post we've had 2,072 visits from 1,016 unique visitors.
63% come from Newfoundland and Labrador. 25% come from the rest of Canada, 10% come from the USA, and the remaining 2% come from 25 different nations, from Brazil to Ireland to Guam (yes, Guam!) to Australia.

Thanks to everyone who reads and enjoys this site. Remember, if there's anything you'd like to see here, all you have to do is email it to placentiablog@gmail.com --- we're always happy to receive your email!

Picture of Placentia from Graveyard taken from Michael's Panoramio Account

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Free Computer Courses at the Library

As you may know, free lessons with the computer were on offer all this fall at the library, taught by this blog's maintainer (i.e. me), Michael Collins.

This was a contractual job which was meant to end in December. However, more funding was found (I am never sure how that works), and extensions were on offer. So, I'm here at the Placentia Public Library until March!

I'm hoping to offer some new things, but they're still in development. I'm happy to announce that the fall classes will be repeated --- so if you missed them the first time around, or if you'd just like some review, call the library at 227 3621 and put your name down! Spots are limited.

Classes are Thursday Night from 7:00-9:00 OR on Friday Afternoon from 1:30-3:30. Friday's class is a duplicate of Thursday's, so you only need to come to one. Also, one-on-one tutoring sessions are available by appointment, if neither Thursday night nor Friday morning is good for you.

The Classes are:

Week One (January 23, 24): The Basics
Week Two (January 31, Feb 1): The Internet
Week Three (February 7, 8): Word Processing
Week Four (February 14, 15): Powerpoint
Week Five: (February 21, 22): Blogging and Wikipedia
Week Six: (February 28, 29): Google Earth and Panoramio

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eye in the Sky on Placentia

Panoramio is the website where Google Earth gets its on-the-ground pictures (if you're familiar with the Google Earth program, I'm talking about the little blue dots you see when you have the 'geographic web' layer turned on).

Here's a satellite view from Ship Harbour down to Patrick's Cove. To see the rest of the Cape Shore further south, click and drag on the map. There are some really nice pictures of Cape St. Mary's there.

The site is easy and fun to use, and it's a great way for people from away to get an idea of the scenic beauty that abounds in this area.

The pictures are all user-uploaded; Google Earth reviews them and selects which they will use. Accounts are free. 42 pictures I've taken and uploaded are now part of Google Earth; anyone in the world can see photos I took of the bird rock, should they zoom in on Cape St. Mary's. If you see a place that's not represented (such as Fox Harbour, Patrick's Cove, or Cuslett), why not put some photos up yourself, literally for the whole world to see?

The Weather Network says it's -9 in Argentia (-19 windchill), so here's a shot of sandy sunny Point Lance beach. Stare at it and try to warm up a bit! I took this photo and uploaded it to Panoramio; it's been visible in Google Earth for 9 months now.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bald Eagles in Placentia Bay

The fact that Placentia Bay has one of the highest concentrations of Bald Eagles in North America comes as no surprise to anyone who's lived in this area. They're a common enough sight for anyone who rambles around this bay.

A few years ago, National Geographic did a story on bald eagles, and, in addition to Alaska, they talked of Placentia Bay as an eagle stronghold.

They even dispatched a photographer here; he spent 10 days camped out on a beach (sadly, the article doesn't say which) during the caplin scull, taking photos. His field notes are available to read on National Geographic's website (click the link).

Also, the Peregrine Foundation has
archived this article
on their website, all about the eagles of Placentia Bay. It says that only 5% of the eagles that have been tagged in Placentia Bay have ever shown up at feeding stations elsewhere. This is a strong indication that the population is year-round, not migratory.

Just to prove the point, here are some amazing photos that were recently forwarded to the blog by local artist Christopher Newhook. As always, click on an image to view a larger version.

Here's what he has to say about them:

Took a drive up to Point Verde Beach (near Glenn's Cove) before Christmas and stumbled upon a flock of eagles, apparently feeding upon something on the beach. There were a total of 6 in the area but I could not get them all in one shot. The best I could do was 5.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kevin Collins joins the Youtube Revolution

Renowned local singer, songwriter, and performer Kevin Collins has taken his music around the world. Now, his music can make the journey even when Kevin is relaxing in his Point Verde studio. Yes, Kevin Collins is on Youtube, with plenty of music videos available for all the world to see.

Clicking the link above will take you to a list of all the videos that have been posted. At the moment, there are 15 videos available, such as From an Island to an Island or The Golden Years. You might even recognize some faces and places (I know I did!).

Here's a link to Kevin's official homepage. Many thanks to Tom O'Keefe and Ray Miller for forwarding this information on to us!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

French Lessons

French Conversation Classes resume this week!

They are held each Wednesday from 7-9 pm at the College of the North Atlantic, in Classroom 7. The atmosphere is informal and friendly --- just waltz on in and say 'bon soir!' The cost is free, although donations are accepted on behalf of l'Association Francaise de Plaisance.

If you'd like more info, feel free to email Margie McFarlane at mmcfarlane@nf.sympatico.ca. J'espère vous voir là! (I hope that means, "I hope to see you there!")

Fallow Period Over!


Well, I'm back. I must apologize for a near silent month. Looking at the visitor statistics, though, a fallow period might even have been healthy for this blog! I hope, once you've discovered it, you'll come back regularly. Let your friends know, too. Updates should be frequent once more --- this site is designed to be something you look at several times a week, as it's always being updated (except when I take some time off!)

In future I will try to make any rest breaks significantly shorter!

This here is a picture of Point Verde, taken by your's truly only a couple of days ago. I can assure you, it was every bit as cold as the picture suggests. It was a pleasant and calm 0 degrees in Southeast that day, but on Point Verde beach the wind off the water was raw enough to freeze the face off ya!

There's a flurry of updates coming down the pipe, so hold on to your hats.

Best wishes for 2008,

-Michael Collins, Maintainer