Category Archives: General

Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story @ the ROM

Royal Ontario Museum has a special exhibition on the largest creature on earth: blue whale. This exhibition is important not only in terms of global research on this mysterious animal, but also, it is a story close to home for Canadians; the exhibition showcases a Canadian effort on preservation and study of species.

Image result for blue whale exhibition at ROMHere is the background story:

In 2014, 9 blue whales were trapped and died on the coast of Newfoundland. Their loss represents about 3% of the Northwest Atlantic’s blue whale population; in Canada that’s almost equivalent to the human population of Saskatchewan. Blue whales usually sink when they die, but in an unusual occurrence two of the blue whales washed ashore in Trout River and Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, offering an unprecedented opportunity for research.

A team of researchers and staff from the ROM salvaged one of the whales, preserved its bone and its heart, which was a first time internationally.

Image result for blue whale exhibition at ROMThis exhibition is very well put together; it is both informative and interactive. In addition, it is aesthetically pleasing. I was in awe when I saw the complete skeleton of the blue whale in the middle of the room. It really made me aware of the world that we live in, and I cannot help but feeling so small. I learned a lot about these majestic giants, and the hard and often less celebrated work that put into exhibitions like this by scientists and researchers.

This exhibition is enjoyable to all ages and I recommend you to check it out. Out of the Depths will be at the ROM until September 4th, 2017.

Link to this special exhibition: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/blue-whale

Related reads:

The Blue Whale

Blackfish

The Whale: in Search of the Giants of the Sea

Whale

 

As Red as Blood

Salla SimukkaHave you noticed a pattern anywhere in my posts?

Now that I’m looking right at the cover, I’m a little bit confused: the silhouette looks Tinkerbell-esque, and she is most certainly not from a Grimms fairy tale. That’s not important though. In fact, although there are plenty of fairytale references throughout, including (of course) Snow White, in large part in reference to the protagonist Lumikki, who is named after Snow White, the storyline itself isn’t very fairytale-like (apart from the fantastical elements – not fantasy, mind you).

Fast-paced, with a clear progression of events, As Red as Blood keeps you hooked from beginning to end and is a promising beginning to a trilogy. We do not yet own the next two books of the trilogy, As White as Snow and As Black as Ebony, but I’m looking forward to reading them!

(Spoiler alert under the cut!)

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I Am Not a Number

Residential SchoolsI Am Not a Number, by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland, tells the story of Irene Couchie, Dupuis’ grandmother, and her experience of the residential schooling system, where, along with many other First Nations children, she was stripped of her identity both as a person – the children went by numbers, not names; she was assigned 759 – and as a member of her community, punished for speaking her language – the Devil’s tongue, the nuns called it. As Irene is getting her hair cut, she says that she is crying not only because her hair is getting cut, but because in her community, hair is cut as a signifier of loss; the nun is not only cutting Irene’s hair: she is attempting to kill Irene and her culture*.

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