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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The Hashtag Effect

The influence of Twitter Hashtags
Rahman Mohamed
Updated 1 February 2017

Social media has been changing the world.  Today people are more interconnected than ever before; more than one person from Greenland can discuss food or politics with users in South Africa and India on Twitter; without leaving their home, seeing each others faces or even knowing their real name they know what’s happening in each others’ life.  Today a man from America can share photos with a lady from China on Facebook.  Eventually they may meet, fall in love, and marry.

Leaders of the world have recognized this.  Political and world leaders are using Twitter, interacting with each other and their Followers more than ever before.  In the 2015 Canadian Federal Election Social Media was used by political leaders and parties to reach Canadians across the Great White North.

Earlier this year, February 12, Bloomberg reported that Facebook has higher earning, users, and is used more frequently than Twitter.  On the other hand Twitter is used more often by urban and higher educated users.  It’s also used more than Facebook to stay in touch with the world.  More recently social movements have taken to social media using Hashtags – words or a phrase with “#” in front.  If you click on a hashtag you see all the public Tweets that have used it, Tweets that have included the hashtag.

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Post-Election: Syria and Canada

Refugees and bombing
Rahman Mohamed

Once upon a time Syria was a country that was barely known.  Only its neighbours would know it existed and its condition.  Today it’s a household name.  In Canada it’s not just known; it’s debated.  After winning the 2015 Federal Election, the Liberal government is facing its first international challenges: the environment and climate change conference in France and its position on Syria.

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