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Needlepoint Class - Chuck Poulsen  

Okanagan, world cooling

I was muttering during the early frozen-ear attack in November: "Damn global cooling!"

Temperatures in the last decade in the Okanagan averaged 9.7 degrees, including two years - 2003 and 2004 - when they were above 10 degrees.

More recently, the Valley has been cooling.

In 2009, the average mean temp was only 9.3. The year before was a chilly mean temperature of 8.8. Given a moderate summer and November's freeze, we may see a continued cooling trend for 2010.

Either that, or these stats are just fogging-up of our glasses.

As Kelowna meteorologist Doug Lundquist says: "You can make any argument you want, depending on the data you choose."

The decade-long Okanagan numbers are too limited to reasonably hang your long underwear on.

But global temperature averages just released by scientists at the MET - England's national weather service - suggest that we are not going to hell in a hand basket, at least as fast as Al Gore and David Suzuki have been setting their hair on fire.

The rate at which global temperatures are rising has slowed in the past decade, say the scientists.

Since the 1970s, the long-term rate of global warming has been around .16 a degree a decade. That slowed in the last 10 years to between .05 - .13, depending on which set of data is used.

The MET's Vicky Pope said: "The question is why has that happened. It's a question that skeptics (of global warming) often bring up."

Surveys show the public's belief in global warming has plummeted, leading scientists to re-examine data going back 150 years.

The reassessment, which will take an international group of experts three years to complete, is regarded as a tacit admission that previous reports have been tainted by self-serving scientists and politicians.

The world's temperatures may be moderating but the heat is being turned up on the likes of Al Gore and David Suzuki.

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Some companies are just made for us to dislike, such as Kelowna's Impark.

But a towing company in Wales has topped anything Impark might do to make our lives just a little more miserable.

Cathryn James was shopping in Swansea, Wales when she rushed to help a woman who was threatening suicide by jumping into the River Tawe.

James was almost pulled into the water herself as she talked to the woman, keeping her safe until police arrived.

When James returned to her car, she found a ticket for overstaying the three-hour parking limit by 22 minutes.

James appealed the fine. She presented a letter from police praising her courage.

Excel Parking refused the appeal, citing "insufficient reasons" to waive the fine.

Once the story made news, Excel backed down and cancelled the ticket.

A spokesman for Excel said he was "happy" to do it. Is it possible to be retroactively happy to do something?

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I bought a new GPS and downloaded the latest maps. The maps had the new Glenmore Road configuration but, more importantly, for visitors, they weren't able to provide correct information on changes to the airport roads.

My TomTom kept telling me to turn around, although I knew the correct way to go.

Maybe a tech at the airport can talk to the GPS companies to get this straightened out. Otherwise, visitors will literally get lost as they enter the Kelowna airport.

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April 11, 1954 has been identified as the most boring day of the 20th century.

After feeding 300 million facts into a computer, it was found that there was no news of significance on that date, not even the birth or death of a famous person.

The biggest news of the day was that Belgium had a general election.

April 11, 1954 just missed the birth of rock and roll.

On April 12, Bill Haley and the Comets recorded Rock Around The Clock.

In Kelowna, the Mighty Daily Courier newspaper of today wasn't a daily then. However, on the closest day of publication for reference, April 8, 1954, the headline was that the mill rate would be unchanged. So nothing new happened.


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