Archive for: ‘August 2019’

A ceremony to remember

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

by Melanie de Klerk

Today, I had my first taste of Afghanistan outside Kandahar Airfield, suiting up in a bullet-proof vest, joining other journalists to take a trip to Ma’ Sum Ghar aboard a Chinook helicopter transport. This too was a first for me as I had never been on military aircraft before.

As we approached the loading ramp, a wall of searing heat hit me as the rotors turned. Sitting firmly in my seat I watched out the back at a gunner who sat at the ready while we slowly lifted off. I was surprised at how low to the ground we flew, traversing lush green fields interspersed with stunning sand dunes framed by mountains. As we approached our ultimate destination, the gunner got up and removed something from a container. He unfurled a Saskatchewan flag as another helicopter pulled up from behind and snapped a photo. Undoubtedly an amazing picture from the other side. I was told that apparently the pilot of the chopper was from Saskatchewan and I suspect it was a bit of a show for the media on board.

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The excitement of my first Chinook flight soon dissipated as the occasion was one of remembrance and sorrow. In 2007 American and South African Soldiers built a rock mural in the shape of a Canadian flag to commemorate the sacrifices Canadian soldiers had made in the area around Ma’ Sum Ghar. It was Ma’Sum Ghar where the blood of many Canadian soldiers have soaked the earth. It is also the place where the first NATO led offensive in Afghanistan, Operation Medusa was launched from.

As the sun set, bringing relief from the heat of the day, the names of 72 Canadian soldiers were slowly read out, while stones representing those fallen soldiers were taken from the rock mural by colleagues and buried. Nearing the end of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan, today’s ceremony was a touching way to mark the sacrifices that Canadian soldiers have made on Afghan soil.

A view of the Rock Mural at Ma’Sum Ghar

Chinook helicopter on the ground

The vidw out the back of the Chinook

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.

Culture shock: my first impressions of Kandahar Airfield

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

by Melanie de Klerk

For years working on the assignment desk at Global National, dealing with correspondents and public affairs officers based at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) in Afghanistan, the picture I had of the base did not prepare me for the culture shock I experienced when I arrived here in early June.

Stepping off the plane for the first time I was greeted by a wall of intense heat laced with fine talc-like dust particles. While I was warned, I was still a little taken aback by just how hot and dusty it is here and how the soldiers decked out in full gear, cope with such extreme heat.

Despite the dust and extreme heat, everyone is hard at work all around Kandahar Airfield. And it runs like a well-oiled machine with constant activity.

It is fascinating how thousands of troops call this place home, working, eating and living together, in what can only be described as less than ideal conditions.

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In one area you may be walking by a barracks housing Dutch, British, Slovakian, U.S. or Canadian troops. In another, you are on a boardwalk with shops and restaurants like TGIF and KFC. Save for the noise of planes and heavy machinery when you are here, it feels like you are strolling around a tropical destination, shopping for souvenirs. The only tell tale sign that you are not in a holiday resort is the sheer number of NATO soldiers browsing through the shops, at their side.

Throughout the day I slowly acclimatized with the new surroundings, feeling a sense of calm that there were thousands of soldiers and civilians living their lives on this base —I relaxed feeling more at ease with the new surroundings. However, getting some much needed rest was a different story. I wasn’t prepared for the incredible amount of loud noises, from the whirr of jet engines to the dull thumps of distant explosions. Needless to say I didn’t get much shut eye listening to a world of new sounds orchestrated throughout the night.

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.

UFC 131 Dos Santos vs Carwin Picks and Predictions

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

Been real busy around these parts with all the hoopla surrounding  the return of the NHL so things have been neglected around here a bit lately.  But that said It’s gonna be a real exciting UFC 131 card on Saturday night in Vancouver.  The card was actually much better about a month ago but injuries have forced numerous good fighters off the card.  (Brock Lesnar, Court Mcgee, and Mac Danzig)  But there’s still 4 Canadians on the card including Winnipeg’s own Krzysztof Soszynski.  I’m picking the odds on favourite in all but 2 of the fights, only going against oddsmakers for 2 of the Main Card fights.

UFC 131 Picks

Shane Carwin Def Junior Dos Santos via TKO – Really torn on this one and think it can go either way.  But as I say when in doubt go with the guy with one punch knockout power.

Kenny Florian Def Diego Nunes – Short and Sweet for K-Flo who’s moving down a weight class.

Demian Maia Def Mark Munoz – Upset in the making.

Dave Herman Def Jon Olav Einemo – The Norweigian is making his UFC debut.  He has a 6 and 1 MMA record but yet to beat anyone really good.

Donald Cerrone Def Vagner Rocha – Rocha an injury replacement and we’ll find out why on Saturday.

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Sam Stout Def Yves Edwards – Stout the Canuck will have his hands full but I’m giving him the nod.

Chris Weidman Def Jesse Bongfeldt – Bongfeldt also Canadian but he’s out of his league in this one.

Krzysztof Soszynski Def Mike Massenzio – This is the 3rd fighter scheduled to face KSOS on this card with the first 2 dropping out with injuries.  Massenzio was cut by the UFC and brought back for this fight.  Should be an easy payday for the Winnipegger.

Nick Ring Def James Head – Ring a Canadian looked awful in his UFC debut and would have lost if not for some horrendous judging.  But I’ll give him this one.

Dustin Poirier Def Jason Young – Poirier 9-1 and won UFC debut over Josh Grispi.

Aaron Rosa Def Joey Beltran – Beltran on 2 fight losing streak.

Michihiro Omigawa Def Darren Elkins – Omigawa a japanese legend but he’s been unable to adapt to the UFC style.  He’s 12-9 overall but 0-3 in the UFC.  He’ll finally get win #1 in Van City.


Good Luck with your picks


Also in the news Josh Koscheck has filed a lawsuit against fellow UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar.  The suit relates to Bonnar’s use of Koscheck’s image in his T-shirt line dubbed “Trash Talking Kids”. (A take off Garbage Pail Kids)  Here’s a link to the shirt in question…


Also need to mention the UFC recently changed their rules and beginning next month all main event cards will be 5 rounds in length.  Great decision for 2 reasons.  Much less chance of a draw and 5 Round fights have a much higher stoppage rate.  And the less fights that go to the judges the better!!!


Enjoy the fights ! ! !

A Game Day Hail Hoopla!

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

So, I just returned from Alberta from a camping trip yesterday and on my way through was noticing some extreme convection occuring south of me in the northern part of Montana and the southern part of  Saskatchewan. I drove on anticipating that we were going to see a booming thunderstorm or two when all of the sudden the Severe Weather Watch went up for most of south Sask with Environment Canada.  I drove back to Regina and with one hour til the Sunday football game I raced into town to find parking to meet Tom Vernon (Global News Reporter) and the wife of Rob Vanstone (Leader Post’s Sports Editor) to watch the Rider Home Opener. I noticed while driving downtown Regina the instability that was directly above me now.  I parked at the Cornwall Center (perfect parking spot out front on 11th Ave) when these clouds I saw rolling in started to produce. Did they ever. The hail that came down was the size of ping pong balls!! I had a small leopard print umbrella that was not doing a real good job at repelling these aggressive ice balls. I was walking down the street under my pointless umbrella, being blown around by some significant  wind gusts, while tweeting the severe weather updates on my iphone. I walked into a wall. Yup.

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The game was great after that first round of thunderstorms (even though they lost to the Eskimos), but that was not all we were in for this humid Sunday. I watched as one picture perfect cell after another blew north of mosaic stadium. The extra cool part of it was that I was way high up in the stands at about 150 feet to get a great view of it all. I felt as if I was being rude by constantly looking at radar and tweeting updates on my phone throughout the entire game…but I coudn’t help but stay tuned to local storm chaser Greg Johnson while he was out chasing as I watched the cells that were building all day in the SW part of the province move slowly north of Regina.

The second round of weather was the making of a classic Mesoscale Convective System aka MCS. This is a complex of thunderstorms that become organized on a scale larger than the individual thunderstorms…kinda like a big blob of storms all linked together feeding off each other. Needless to say when this happens a storm chaser’s day is finished. No chance of tornados…just rain and lots of it. The US plains get a great majority of their rainfall due to these large circular shaped weather blobs!

Here are a few pics from my view at Mosaic stadium yesterday. Some of these cells look like they are out of textbook visually speaking. Also- look at the Mammatus cloud that I saw while walking back to my car before the second large system moved in to the city.

Samsung’s Central Station Offers Cordless Portable Computing

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

Samsung Central Station automatically adjusts dual screen modes – gets wireless Internet for you, right. 

Check out my Monday Morning News Tech Untangled GlobalTV segment with co-host Mike: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活globaltvedmonton杭州夜网/video/index.html?releasePID=ar8CmeXNAH7oCEIzbh3rgPg_W4xqXPns

Samsung’s Central Station SyncMaster C27A750X, $646.99, is a 27-inch LED/LCD monitor with wireless written all over it. 

The only cable it needs is the power cord. It has a built-in hub which essentially hooks up to your laptop wirelessly with a brilliant 1920 x 1080 display resolution. The base, which features a unique dual-hinge stand, has two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, headphone and 1D-Sub connections. 

Once you plug the tiny wireless connection dongle to your laptop’s USB, the Central Station takes over. After installing the connection software, you ignore your laptop’s connections and plug your extra mice, keyboard USB sticks and cameras to the Central Station hub. You now have two monitors, the laptops’ and the Central Station gorgeous 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Central Station automatically configures the resolution when connecting to the laptop.  

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Instead of your laptop’s WiFi, you can get your Internet connection through the Central Station. This allows you to use your laptop with no other connections since the Central Station becomes your wireless hub. There is also a wired connection from the hub to your laptops for the fastest connection.  

You can check out the working details of the Samsung Central Station at:  


Once you get your head around to how it works, the Central Station could become your way to mega screen computing with your laptop, sans cables. 


I liked the ability to quickly charge your devices via the hub’s USB and the three auto power-off eco settings.   

Does it work? Yes and no. It does everything it’s supposed to, but don’t expect smooth wireless HD movie playing on videos bigger than average quality 720p  or full screen YouTube. Connected digi-cams directly to the HDMI of the Central Station work well.  

I tried Samsung’s newest ultra thin and fast series 9 laptop and older Lenovo Tablet on Windows 7 laptops with similar results. It’s more a convenience thing for working with a second blue-ray quality screen and hub freeing your laptop of cables.  

I also found the dongle to get annoyingly hot, heating up my older laptop, but a short USB extension cord solved that.