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Odds and sods – birds and wheels

August 4, 2005
A couple of weeks ago I put up a link to the Eagle Online web camera. Here it is, because I am taking it down. http://www.panoraama.com/live/maakotka/
 
However, this camera has received thousands upon thousands of hits from all over the world since the press got a hold of it. The eagle in the nest – "Weera" is her name – is actually the chick, not the mother as I had previously thought. In any case Weera has taken to flight and I haven’t seen too much of her over the past few days. The "Father of the idea" Pasi Jäntti and technical suppoter Hannu Sievilä have informed us that Weera will likely visit the nest to "beg" for food. Though she can fly, I suspect she’s not too adept at hunting just yet.  Mr. Jäntti has an English language review of Eagle Online here: http://www.pudasjarvi.fi/englanti/eagle_online.htm
 
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In other happenings, my other half and I will be participating in a rollerblading half-marathon in a couple of weeks. http://www.helsinkiroller.fi/. I broke down and bought a new pair of rollerblades a few weeks ago because I found out that not too many stores are stocking 76mm wheels, which is what I had on my old skates. I am now on 80mm wheels and man do I fly now… How I ever did it with 76mm wheels I have no idea. Now I can confidently keep up with (and even pass) the Mr.  Of course I skate with poles so that probably makes a difference too. I expect to do much better this time around compared to my first half-marathon back in 2002. I’ll let you know how it goes!
 
Rollerblading is great X-training for skiing and biking, both of which are my favourite sports to partake in. Finland is a very bike-friendly country and is a haven for cross-country skiing. I am the envy of some of my friends and former teachers and coaches back home because I can ski in the middle of the night on kilometre after kilometre of lit trails. Ski season is still a few months away, so I will enjoy rolling along instead. Here’s a good link about rollerblading in Finland, click "English summary" to access the English pages. http://www.katukiitajat.fi/
 
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Finally, the crash of Air France flight 358 in Toronto on August 2 was a terrible shock. It was a great relief to hear that people escaped with nothing more than bruises, scrapes, burns and broken bones. The situation could have been very tragic indeed. Finnair only flies to Toronto in the summertime, so it was no surprise to hear that Finnair operations to and from Toronto had been affected by the crash. My hats off goes to YLE News because they had quite an extensive report on the crash and a topical report about thunderstorms. While many factors will be taken into account for the cause of the crash, it will be a long time before we hear any firm and final reports.
 
When I head home at Christmas I’ll be landing at Pearson International in Toronto, so it boosts my confidence to know that emergency services at the airport were up to the test the other day. In the event of delay at the airport (there always is in Toronto!), I’ll be sure to have a good book in hand!
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