Archive for April, 2008

SALT

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Perhaps it’s because I hate leeches, but I really like having salt around the house. Much to the chagrin of Ottawa area locavores, the closest salt deposits are in New York State and Southwestern Ontario. Salt deposits also touch Quebec and three of the maritime provinces up around around Rivière-Du-Loup [Ottawa “area” salt mines]

I have yet to find any recorded salt deposits within a 400+ KM radius of Ottawa, and if anyone knows of some unmapped source of salt deposits local to Ottawa then please let me know!

Recently, however, I’ve stumbled upon the notion of Green Chemistry after reading this editorial from one of their old publications: Green Chemistry Editorial – February 2000 (PDF) (via rsc.org) Note: the publisher has opened their archive of digital publications for the month of April — Great idea & thank you!

Then it dawned on me — “HEY!”, I thought — are there local source of Na (Sodium) and Cl (Chlorine) ? With all the industries and research labs around here there must be SOME sort of process which produces Na, Cl, or even better NaCl as a waste product…

So I’ve done a few searches on the internet and not much luck as of yet. Alas, I turn to you — the avid reader — in a plea for aid & ideas: could you please talk to any chemists you know (which may mean consulting your friends and/or family) to try to help me figure out what things are happening around my city where they end up with a pile of salt (no matter how big or how small) and consider it waste?

Kiteboarding

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Out to Williamsburg for the weekend. This is just seconds after Si (middle left) let go of the kite and just seconds before some killer body drag @ ~ 20 km/h.

If you know how to snowboard and windsurf and paraglide I doubt you’ll have much trouble figuring all of this out. Otherwise just strap yourself in, hold on, and wait for rescue.

Kiteboarding
Note to self: A 14 meter kite is not a trainer kite in a 12 Knot wind.

Fruit Fight.

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Here’s a fun link for a rainy day: The CFIA’s Chemical Residue Annual Reports
( http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/microchem/resid/reside.shtml ).

I’m looking through the 2004/05 Annual Report for Fresh Fruit & Veggies. Based on their residue tests for fresh fruit and vegetable products, 9.5% of their random domestic food samples tested positive while 10.1% of the random samples taken from imported products tested positive for residues that you really shouldn’t be eating in any great amount.

Some countries were worse offenders than others, and a good number of ranked much higher than Canada — Costa Rica, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands.

Heck, even Colombia did a better job than Canadian producers & processors in keeping unhealthy residues off their food. Chalk it up to experience I guess…

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