Computer & Technology

Revolutionizing endurance training

“We’re just at the cusp of changing an entire sport, and it’s coming out of a town of 23-thousand people. It’s incredible where we’ve got to,” said Alastair Smith, co founder of Proskida. Current performance-monitoring technology that’s widely available in the sport doesn’t tell you how much you’re producing; it just tells you how much …

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Percolating with ‘the guys’

I work with federal inmates at an institution in central Alberta. And of all people, you would think they would know how to make coffee in an old-style coffee percolator. You know the ones … you put your coffee grounds in a round metal filter and place it onto a spigot that sends boiling water …

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Lettuce off the grid

Food security is an ongoing concern for northerners, as remote communities as well as Whitehorse struggle with access to reliable and affordable produce from southern suppliers. Executives at the Yukon-based power company Solvest Inc. think they’ve found a solution. The company is in the pilot phase of a project that aims to provide an off-the-grid …

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Never-fail old standbys

It seems we are living in an age of electronic wizardry. Every season there is a raft of new GPS and communication devices as well as night-vision, heat sensors and range-finding scopes. In the current race to get all these new gizmos, we often forget about some old and very dependable items from the past. …

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Earth to Yukon College

The Yukon will be launching a satellite into orbit for the first time, as part of a Canadian Space Agency-led project.Yukon College students are in the conceptual stage of their first-ever space mission. “A Yukon satellite will expand the depth of knowledge we have in the territory and will hopefully lead to other space-related projects …

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Google the Top of the World

Located on the northeastern corner of Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Quttinirpaaq National Park is Canada’s northernmost national park. Until recently it was virtually inaccessible to your average earthling. Quttinirpaaq just became a bit more reachable with the completion of a partnership project between Parks Canada and Google Street View, which aims to increase access to …

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Powering up the North

Diesel power generators are like cars: the more efficient they are, the less fuel they need. And that increased efficiency translates into less cost, both for drivers at the pump and for the communities that rely on diesel fuel for heat and electricity.

Powering community media North of 60

Tagish-based open-source technology guru and founder of Open Broadcaster, “Radio” Rob Hopkins is a driving force behind the use of this technology in northern Canada A group of broadcasters and open-source technology enthusiasts are having get-together at the Days Inn in Whitehorse on March 23. The open-source North 60 conference brings together professionals from different …

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Oil lamps

In modern times oil or kerosene burning lamps are used more as part of décor than to throw light on a situation. People nowadays run electric lights – either battery powered or using electricity – from the grid or a small generator. Propane lights are also used, but to a lesser degree than 20 years …

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A tale of Arctic exploration

Yukon author Eva Holland has taken advantage of Amazon’s Kindle Singles format to produce what might have been a 45-page volume about the early history of Arctic exploration.

Plastic, plastic, everywhere

It is 2017 and plastic is all around us — in our toothbrushes, phones, and children’s toys. We use it to store our food and bottle our water. We put our plastic purchases in plastic bags to bring home. Many plastic bags will get used only once. They might get recycled. They might get thrown …

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A Tale of the Klondike Tailings

Despite the romantic image of the grizzled miner panning by the creek side in search of gold, that phase of the Klondike’s mineral saga was relatively short. Entrepreneurial minds knew of more efficient and less-labour intensive ways of getting gold from the ground, and it wasn’t long before the arrival of the dredges in the …

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From the East to the Beautiful South

Keen on history? The Castle Wartburg in Wittenberg in Eastern Germany offers an opportunity to learn about the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation. The castle is the place where Luther translated the bible and lived with his family. The castle’s origins date back to 1067. The castle is hosting an exhibition until November called …

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Right On, Yukon

I’m from Ontario, but boy let me tell you I would much rather be out here. Where I come from the only outdoor activities families engage in are taking the bus, and burying their heads in technology. You know that the next generation is going to be smarter than you when you’re watching a baby …

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Programmers work miracles

Oh what a wonderful time we live in. If you are in a strange, new city and need to know where the best coffee is served, there is an app for that. Just touch your smartphone. If you need to know if those noodles are gluten-free, well, the package has a barcode and you have …

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Feeding the North

Food is important to me because I have a large family. Five boys under the age of nine” says Sonny Gray, CEO of North Star Agriculture Corp., as his company will soon announce plans to start construction in the Yukon. Like many in the Yukon he’s concerned about fresh produce. Yukoners like to buy local …

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Birding on the Fly

I’ve joined her in a Riverdale neighbourhood in search of a rare Mountain chickadee. The first species we see, however, is a noisy woodpecker, a “Hairy.” Whitehorse resident Tracy Allard brings out her smartphone and taps an app called eBird to start her checklist: the type, number and location of each bird she’ll see on this …

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The opposable thumb was not actually a Canadian invention

Ask any randomly-selected group to name mankind’s greatest invention, most will probably say the wheel. Fire doesn’t count; it was discovered, not invented. If you ask about the second most important invention, the answers will range widely: the lever, the pulley, the cotton jenny, moveable type, the internal combustion engine. Someone will inevitably say sliced …

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A Yukoner at Heart with a Lot to Give

Since graduating from Porter Creek Secondary Nicolai Bronikowski has been working on ship design and transit studies. Through his work in Finland, Russia and Canada he showcases the Yukon’s strong science programs and growing potential as an Arctic research hub. Bronikowski came to the Yukon in 2009 for an exchange year, after finishing Grade 9 …

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Epiphanies

“It’s like everybody knows the story,” muses a reporter to her colleague. “Except us.” The journalists of “Spotlight,” a legendary investigative unit at the Boston Globe, won a Pulitzer for a series of revelatory articles on the cover-up of child abuse in the Catholic Church, published in 2002. But as one of the characters ruefully …

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Stereoscopic Views

Looking through Sid’s antiquities I spot a familiar sight: stereoscopes. I had a pair of bright orange View Masters (a trademarked format of stereoscope) when I was a child in the 1990s with photos of Bugs Bunny. Sid’s stereoscopes are truly antique and rare. “These ones are from the late 1800s up to the 1910s,” …

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Hacking Through the Internet Maze in Search of Meaning

Enquiring (and even inquiring) minds want to know: what the heck is a hack, anyway? In response to numerous queries on that very subject (none, actually), I’ve been hacking my way through the undergrowth of lexicography trying to decode a term the internet seems to assume all of us understand intuitively. Surprisingly, the dots between …

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Technology Meets Art

A new exhibition has opened at the ODD Gallery in Dawson City. Ommatida Muralis, which runs until April 16, is a new interactive installation by Winnipeg artists Chantal Dupas and Andrew John Milne. “It’s a rich experience to have a display of two, first-time collaborating artists,” says Interim Gallery Director Meg Walker. “It’s two perspectives …

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Muzzle-Loaders

Until the mid to late 1800s, all firearms were muzzle-loaders, which, as the name implies, had to be loaded singly by pushing the components – powder, patch and projectile – down the barrel from the muzzle. This loading process made them slow to get ready to shoot again, compared to how the process was accelerated …

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Say it with a Craft Project

Mark your calendar: Feb. 11, between 6 and 9 p.m. is the All Ages Valentine Craft Night. This free public event is sponsored by YuKonstruct, located at 135 Industrial Road. Nominally priced kits for the special Valentine craft are available; step by step instructions for completion – and volunteers – will assist participants; and miscellaneous …

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Hone Your Craft

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Available Light Film Festival. Each year, the festival seems to grow and attract greater talent from a variety of places. This year also has a substantial amount of filmmaking workshops, some free and others requiring tickets. The festival’s keynote address will be from Dylan Marchetti, chief creative …

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Axes: Use and Abuse

Winter is the busiest and most abusive time of the year for axes. They get a solid workout in the fall when we split the majority of our firewood, but all winter long they are used for making kindling as well splitting the rest of the wood. For some reason we have gotten into the …

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YuKonstruct hacks its way to the top

YuKonstruct’s computer lab is electric with creativity and camaraderie. Okay, it usually is, but more so tonight. It is six days from the deadline of the Hackathon, a contest from www.instructables.com, which is an online community of people making stuff and sharing their creations. If the members of YuKkonstruct win, they will collect the prizes …

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Where the Cats Rule

Breaking news in the world of virtual lifestyling: the real world simulation game, The Sims 4, now has basements. Virtual people worldwide can now get their damn virtual stuff out of the virtual hallway closet into a virtual two-level underground storage space. Electronic art has caught up to real life and it’s time basements got …

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A biographical document

I got my MacBook Pro computer in the spring of 2010 and it has served me well for five years. It has been with me through various drafts and productions of my play, Syphilis: A Love Story, and through my 30-month tenure with What’s Up Yukon. But in the last half-year or so, various behavioral …

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SOS

My phone rang at 2:27 pm. Janessa was on the other end: “What’s going on dad?” “What are you talking about?” I said. It turns out the technology I use to reassure my family that I am okay works very well to inform them when I am not. As it should. She told me that …

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Techno Challenged

If it’s true there are seven wonders in the natural world, then surely this is the eighth. The world’s most incompetent techno-challenged is boldly composing this on a brand new, state-of-the-art iPod. It’s his first, and is called by its given name: Apple Air Pad 2 — a way-ward present Santa Claus must have left …

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Life Long Learning

Some say that dogs of a certain age can’t learn new tricks. Sue Starr can’t speak for the dogs, but as a community organizer, adult educator, and driving force behind the new Heart of Riverdale community centre, lifelong learning is both a joy and a necessity. Take technology, for example. As technology becomes an unavoidable …

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Looking back to see the future

For a young man, Chris Foster is an old soul. The interdisciplinary artist, who obtained his Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2008, finds his aesthetic cues in old books and obsolete technology. He feels that his generation is the last of the analog era, and …

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Technology is Not Always Good

We tend to think of technology in terms of the newest laptop or slimmest, Internet-capable phone. What is the connection between technology and food? Technology so inundates our society that we overlook what technology has done in the food system. We shop for the least-cost fuel, consuming it mindlessly. Just what do the words “food …

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Should employees be allowed to use work computers for personal use?

THOSE WHO SAY YES, SAY: As computers become more and more sophisticated, they become more and more useful. And, the more useful they are, the more of a necessity they become. Some may wince at the word “necessity”, but they need to realize that computers can go to more websites than just YouTube and MySpace. …

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Technology vs. Tradition: An Ode to the Paperback Novel

With the onset and advance of technology, we are constantly being faced with new challenges and choices that our predecessors had not encountered. In my house of 20-something student winos, we have recently been debating a particular issue with considerable passion: The E-Reader versus The Traditional Novel. In one corner, we have the e-reader. Slim, …

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Support Your Local Scientist

I love science. From government-sponsored labs to guys in their basements trying to rig together a personal jet pack, I must send a shout out to the people who chose the scientific path in life. ‘Cause really, there’s no way I would be able to sit through years of higher learning to work at unlocking …

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Walks into her life, tips hat, sweeps her off to the Yukon

Vanessa takes me to the Millennium Trail on a sunny afternoon. We smell the heavy aroma of flowers, somewhere, and find the top of a tree covered in buzzing insects and butterflies. A small yellow bird darts through the branches. It’s her favourite place to walk now. “I try to come here daily, and when …

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Northern Lights Express

Astronomy and a love for the night sky travels with a person no matter where you go or what you do. In our younger years of life, we have all the time and energy to explore the great cosmos. As a young adult, the real world of responsibilities (careers and children and all that stuff) …

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Imaging the Cosmos … Is It For Me?

Welcome to the Yukon Winter Night Sky and all the cosmic treasures that are just waiting for you to discover and photograph them. The weather has been unstable, with storm fronts continually moving in, bringing lots of clouds and very uncertain night skies. These are trying times for amateur astronomers and completely frustrating times for …

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Lunar satellite collision

The month of May is over, and so is observing deep-sky objects such as nebulas and galaxies. The only stellar objects in the sky that are of interest to amateur astronomers are the moon, sun, Jupiter, Saturn and a handful of stars and clusters. Saturn is moving quickly toward the horizon and will soon disappear …

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The Mysterious Widget

Guinness is peculiar. It tastes creamy and has a fine-textured head you just don’t find in most other beers. You can chalk that up to the presence of nitrogen. Most beers just contain carbon dioxide. If you cut open a can of Guinness pub draught, you will discover a plastic orb with a pinhole opening …

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The Font (Fount?) of Wisdom

Times New Roman, that’s how I roll. In the world of font, I know I’m backing one tired, old horse. But there’s something undeniably comforting in its blandness. There’s no impression of subterfuge or arrogance; it’s just a font that’s there to get the job done. I appreciate that. It happens to be the font …

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Stellar Views, Quick and Easy

This time of year I am frequently asked the same question: “What is the best gift for someone who wants to get into astronomy and wants to see more than what binoculars can offer?” A box store special telescope is a bad choice for a Christmas present. These telescopes are plagued with problems that are …

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Big View, Small Budget

While the rest of the country is obsessed with the H1N1 virus and cure, Yukon amateur astronomers seem to be looking for a cure of their own — a cure for bad weather. This time of year is renowned for volatile, unstable weather, making for cloudy nights mixed with snowstorms. When cloudy nights persist, however, …

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Rekindling an old flame

These iPads and Kindles gladden my heart as I see it as one more step toward re-establishing the written word as the king of communication. (You all know that I’m an editor, right?) I had worried when I saw the rise of television replace books, and the teleph one replace hand-written notes. I’m not that …

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Funky Hand Controllers

The biggest problems experienced by amateur astronomers, who live in the Yukon and the northern limits of civilization, is the cold. The cold is brutal on the human element, and is capable of wreaking all kinds of havoc on astronomy gear — from poorly made eyepieces and telescope mounts, to laptop computers. One would think …

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Start a blog

Blogging is “a dangerous medium for personal exposure.” So says Andrew Robulack, a Whitehorse technophile, columnist and long-time blogger. He’s nailed the definition. Broadcasting your opinions, memories, successes, and frustrations, in the most public forum yet devised, is everything Andrew asserts. So you wouldn’t expect many people to write a “web log,” the name once …

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Fat Tracks

Have you ever driven past someone on a bike at -35 in a blizzard and thought they were crazy? You’re probably not alone. Let’s face it, it’s cold and miserable outside, and bikes aren’t really designed to tackle winter conditions (anyone who has ever tried to ride their mountain bike down a toboggan hill knows …

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Running a Tech Savvy Business

The ways in which technology improves the productivity of a business continue to grow. By selecting a technological system that is right for you, you allow your business, colleagues and consumers to flourish. From modern point-of-sale systems, to web-based technology, to mobile wireless communications, there is a multitude of ways that you can implement technology …

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