Lost in the Prop Wash
I enjoyed reading about the Reynolds-Alberta Museum (“Wings Over Wetaskiwin,” November 2008), but would like to mention an error regarding the DeHavilland Canada Beaver. This aircraft (designated the DHC-2) was the second original design produced by DeHavilland Canada – and was both designed and built in Ontario. (The first, the DHC-1 Chipmunk, was manufactured here and in Britain.) The DHC-2 Beaver was probably the most successful bush plane ever, as stated in the article, and is still in use today. Some have also converted to the PT-6 turbine engine.
During World War II, DeHavilland Canada also manufactured airplanes designed by its parent company – specifically the Tiger Moth and the DH Mosquito. The Mosquito was a high-performance twin-engine fighter aircraft constructed with moulded plywood. This is an early example of composite material used in aircraft construction. The aviation museum in Edmonton has one of these on display.
–David Marsden, via email
This is a terrific article. However, we would like to point out that Billy Bishop was not involved in the action that resulted in the shooting down of the Red Baron. In fact, it is Albertan Roy Brown who is officially credited with shooting down the Red Baron on April 21, 1918 (though recent evidence suggests that the baron was shot down by Australian ground forces).
–Justin Cuffe, curator/administrator, Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame
The Great Bridge
Although I enjoyed “Alberta’s Gospel Truth” (Up Front, November 2008), a comment by Junetta Jamerson needs to be addressed.
Jamerson does not speak for all black people when she states, “Black people don’t come to Folk Fest.” Several members of my family often attend Folk Fest, as well as many other cultural events, and my wife and I have attended numerous symphonies at the Winspear Centre and have noticed other black families there as well. Although Jamerson may know the black families from Amber Valley, she might want to reserve her comments regarding “black people” in general and their musical interests.
–Dwight Heslep, Stony Plain
Well, Ex-Squeeze Me!
Like Noella Ostash of Calgary, I also noticed that the picture of the accordion player in “Gone Newfie” (June 2008) was flipped. I also noticed that in your November 2008 “Editor’s Note” regarding this flip, you say, “The accordion is always played with the right hand on the keyboard . . . .” I would like to point out that the instrument pictured was a button accordion and, therefore, has no “keys.” Also, you probably should have said, “is almost always played with the right hand” because Bob Hallet of the Newfoundland band, Great Big Sea, learned to play the accordion while holding it upside down and, therefore, plays the melody buttons with his left hand. Just to keep things accurate. (Love your magazine.)
–Ray Kenny, Calgary
Landlubber, Earth Lover
Thank you for the latest on the cruise lines’ sustainability initiatives (“Clean Sailing,” Travel Smarts, November 2008). I had all but given up on ever going on a cruise because of the environmental issues that I have read about in the past (bulldozers dumping garbage into the ocean, raw sewage discharge, bilge discharge, etc.). I couldn’t, in good conscience, ever book a passage on a cruise ship. Things are definitely looking up and I can almost see myself on a cruise ship now.
Thanks for this column and all the other educational, informative and entertaining articles.
–Marilyn Haugen, Calgary
Re: “Fuelling Change” (Hot Topics, September 2008)
Warming up our cars before driving is considered, in this article, a wasteful habit that we should break. But cold cars equal poor visibility. Any time I rush out without warming up the car properly I end up, three minutes down the road, with a frozen fog bank on the interior of my windshield. I then have to pull over to warm the car up more or hunch over the wheel to see through a peephole or scrape the interior glass repeatedly while driving. I am sorry to say I will continue to warm up my vehicle, and at -30°C, I am quite sure it will take longer than the “nearly six minutes” that Edmontonians take.
–Tavia Wilson, Deadwood
Editor’s Note: Yes, visibility is crucial for driving and a vehicle should be warmed up long enough to ensure that windows are clear (AMA recommends three to five minutes). However, excessive idling is a problem across Alberta, especially in winter, and studies show that:
• Idling is not an effective way to warm up a vehicle, even in cold weather
• The best way to warm a vehicle is to drive it
• Excessive idling can damage an engine’s components
• If every driver in Alberta reduced idling by just five minutes per day, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 300,000 tonnes per year
Re: “We’ve Got Mail” (November 2008)
In your November 2008 issue, a reader describes biofuel developments. The most touted benefit of ethanol is that it is clean burning and produces less CO2 tailpipe emissions than hydrocarbons. What is not noted, however, is that the chemistry of ethanol production, whether cellulosic or grain, produces large amounts of CO2. Just look at the CO2 gas bubbling up from a fermentation vat in a distillery or brewery, or pop the cork from a champagne bottle. When this CO2 is added to tailpipe emissions, it may be found that the greenhouse gas burden from ethanol fuel is just as severe as that from gasoline or diesel.
-Bill Macrae, via email
Walk the Talk
Re: “Hey, Greengo!” (November 2008)
“Rambling” is either a “gentle stroll” or “a long meandering talk with no specific topic or direction.” This article about eco adventures in Puerto Vallarta did not inspire the former but was a fine illustration of the latter. Four aimless and pointless pages. Empty fill is not what we expect of Westworld. This disappointing edition will reach the landfill—or rather, the eco-friendly recycle bin—faster than most.
-Martine Goddard, Calgary
Re: “Hold that Elevator” (September 2008)
This article provided picturesque coverage of one Alberta’s greatest heritage attractions. However, you might have included the elevators in Meeting Creek. This small community has also gained recognition for its restored CN train station. Visits of both the elevators and train station can be arranged year-round at http://www.canadiannorthern.ca/MeetingCreek
-Lorna Radke, Sherwood Park