The Syrup Secret

Marking Winter’s end
Rahman Mohamed
Updated April 8, 2017

SunThe start of Spring is often marked on March 20; it’s usually the time of the Spring Equinox; day and night are of equal length.  Because the Earth is tilted the length of all days and night aren’t the same year-round.  After the Spring Equinox the days get longer until the start of Summer on June 20, the Summer Solstice; the Summer Solstice is the day of the year the Earth sees the most sunlight.  After that the Earth sees less daylight.  On the Fall Equinox, September 22, day and night are again of equal length; Fall begins.  Nights then start to get longer until the Winter Solstice, the day of the year with the least daylight, December 21 when Winter begins.  The dates of the solstices and equinoxes aren’t always the same but the season starts are.

Maple Syrup bottleSome mark the start of spring on March 20.  Others mark it on Nowruz, March 21.  In Canada Nowruz is celebrated but the start of Spring is more often marked by the maple harvest.

Many believe Canada only has two seasons but it does see all solstices and equinoxes.  To mark the start of spring and fall (the end of winter and the approaching winter) there are harvests.  The Fall Harvest includes wheat, potash, corn, and other common agriculture.  The Spring Harvest is start of the creation of maple syrup.  In Canada if you’ve never tasted maple syrup on pancakes you’re not Canadian.
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Bad Air, Bad Health

The effects of pollution on health and how it can be avoided
Rahman Mohamed

Today global attention is focused on war and international relations.  But on November 20 CBC reported that a study by the McKinsey Global Institute revealed that obesity is costing the world’s economy almost $2 trillion, “nearly as much as smoking or the combined impact of armed violence, war and terrorism”.  According to The Guardian obesity costs the United Kingdom £47 billion a year, more than armed violence, and terrorism, but second in cost to smoking.

Factors for obesity include an unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise.  In an article published 10 November, WebMD reported that in addition to lung cancer air pollution plays a role in many more health problems than lung cancer and can be just as bad as obesity.

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