By Curt BuddenThe day started off prosperous with blue skies and sun. On the 11th day of September in 2001. There were school classes, day shifts and children at play. Nobody was ready for what would happen that day. The great state of New York would soon change forever. The whole world watched it unfold and they all cried together. The World Trade Centers fell from harsh evil attacks. New Yorkâs finest responded with no time to relax. The events shook our souls and chilled the blood in our veins. For the people now lost forever in those buildings and planes. But along with those who had died, there was another great fear. Regarding the still active aircraft which were up in the air. They had to leave airspace quickly, no matter the route they had planned. And thatâs when a small town changed forever, known as Gander, Newfoundland; for it had an old airport that was built years ago. Many people had passed through and planes would come and then go. But on September 11, and with sparse information, this quaint little airport became a hub destination. Plane after plane Ganderâs airport did bring. The taxiway got so crowded, planes nearly touched wing to wing. The adrenaline was spiking and all emotions had swirled, for there were aircraft and faces from all over the world. Even though stress was quite heavy, hearts were light as a feather. Because all the people of Gander had to now come together. One fact of Newfoundlandâs history, or any story or tale, itâs that when tragedy strikes Newfoundland will prevail. Once the planes had all landed there was much work to do. With passengers grounded for hours and stuck there like glue. There were many passengers frightened and full of aggression. Nobody told them what happened or answered one single question. When folks finally deplaned they could now stretch and stand. Then they learned of this place which was called âNewfoundland.â Volunteers scrambled and struggled as they sprinted and hurled. They had to draw arrows towards Newfoundland on a map of the world. For these new guests were so anxious the events came in a blur. They had to look at the map to see where they were. And to be sure it was blatant, and to make sure it was clear, they wrote three words by the arrows which read âYou Are Here.â There were great language barriers in both writing and speech. But all folks still received help as far as Gander could reach. Although the terror was strong, the Gander spirit was stronger. All passengers were frantic, but not for much longer. All who helped had to struggle, but their intentions were sound. Passengers all had to learn that they were now on safe ground. No matter how much sleep they had missed, no matter how long they had stood, the people of Gander helped everyone in any way that they could. They prepared countless meals, and they reeled out miles of cables. They opened the doors to their homes, and they pulled out the chairs from their tables. Every counter had food, and every floor had a cot. Every kettle had water, and every burner a pot. The workload pushed their efforts far beyond any ridge. Folks even transformed the townâs ice rink into a large walk-in fridge. They would turn a frown to smile, or at least get exhausted from trying. There was always someone to talk to. There was always a shoulder for crying. They hooked up phones to call loved ones, and they provided clean clothes. They made strangers their friends, for long gone were the foes. They threw birthday parties for children, and took out tours for a glance. They provided music and singing, to share laughter and dance. The whole town was united to do all that they could. They took the focus off evil and shined light on the good. How many tears did they shed? How many words came out stuttered? How much coffee did they perk? How much toast had they buttered? How much bedding had they laid out? How much tea did they steep? How many handshakes and hugs came when emotions ran deep? In every nook there were gatherings, and every cranny was a perch. They used the school and the Legion, and even the church. Every resource was helpful with stealth employed as they used it. Local businesses gave what they could and nobody abused it. There was no time to argue or to be a debater. If something was needed, they would immediately cater. Countless tasks took place with a wide range of criteria. Carried out by Ganderâs fine people and those in the Lewisporte area. Many hearts may have sunk and many spirits did bend. But to those who had showed up as a stranger would soon leave as a friend.The volunteers would stay busy well into the night. There was always somebody to comfort and tell âYouâll be alright.â If there was unbearable stress, or if the horizon showed trouble? The townâs efforts would amplify and their output would double. The townâs motivation was far tougher than granite, to help thousands of people from all over the planet. They used countless methods and they used countless ways. And when it was all said and done, their story lasted five days. Their help came without contracts. Their help came without price. The help came from good people who were humble and nice. The whole town stuck together, with not one person alone. They literally took their community and turned it into a home. This tragic event may have happened on that day in September. And itâs one the people of Gander will surely remember. But not because of the terrorists or those buildings that fell, but because of the people they nurtured and their story theyâd tell. They would always honour the fallen and monuments would be laid. Theyâd also remember the strangers they helped, and the new friends they had made.So many stories were born, with countless memories to keep. And those who helped were so tired, they were too exhausted to sleep. For life can change rather quickly, and on the turn of a dime. But good must always take precedent, as well as endure every time. Thousands of strangers had landed with the unknown to expect. Each one was shown hospitality, grace and respect. And if there was one thing they had learned besides the great gift of living, itâs that Newfoundlanders are heartfelt, good natured and giving. They brought about positivity and removed all the glooms. With their bodies so tired, they were running on fumes. When it came time to leave, a part of them wanted to stay. And many relationships prosper up to this very day. Gander had helped many people no matter where they did roam. But the day finally came when all the strangers went home. It was sad when they left, and no one could deny it. The Town of Gander seemed different, as well as eerily quiet. You could hear a pin drop in the distance. You could hear every last hush. There was no more hustle and bustle, and long gone was the rush. It was then that they realized the hearts they did touch. The act of helping out strangers had just meant so much. Between all of the tears shed and all of the work-driven sweat. Itâs an event that the whole town will never forget. One point which was proven, and came right from the start, was that Ganderâs a small town but it has a big heart. The townâs hospitality had come in great fashion. It was fuelled by emotions, empathy and strong passion. Because regardless of terror they still came out victorious. These strangers showed up as grounded, but they departed as glorious.
by Nicola RyanPhotos courtesy Helen Milley Discovering Newfoundland To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) has launched an ambitious fundraising project to create a Heritage Park for endangered Newfoundland ponies. This new seasonal park will provide grazing pasture, breeding space and a visitorsâ area to highlight the cultural significance of this special animal. Loss of habitat is a major threat to the survival of the Newfoundland pony, so the NPS is thrilled to have secured a 50-year lease on 25 hectares of land near Hopeall in Trinity Bay. Ponies owned by local folks will be able to run and graze freely in the summer and fall before returning home to their stables for the winter. The park is the largest initiative the NPS has undertaken in its history as a charitable organization, and work to fence the area and install a water source is already underway.Greg Malone, award-winning actor, environmentalist and animal-lover, has come on board as honorary chair of the fundraising campaign. Heâs passionate about protecting the critically endangered breed, and his affection for the ponies and their special place in provincial culture and heritage shines through. âItâs a unique breed in all the world,â he says. âThey evolved here over 400 years into a perfect horse for the Newfoundland and Labrador climate. Theyâre sturdy and affectionate, and theyâre just lovely animals to be around.âPonies and horses helped shape settlements and ways of life on the island portion of the province. The ancestors of the Newfoundland pony arrived with early settlers from Britain in the 1600s. These were primarily Exmoor, Dartmoor, Welsh and Connemara ponies. As Greg explains, through isolation and intermingling for hundreds of years, these ponies eventually evolved into a distinct landrace breed uniquely adapted to Newfoundland. Their distinctive physical traits that are the direct result of living in our climate. Hooded eyes and low-set tails protect them from the driving rain and snow; tough hooves and close-set front legs make them agile and sure-footed on rocky terrain; and their ears are small and extra furry to help prevent frostbite. In the past, this sweet-tempered, hard-working animal played an important role in the survival of rural Newfoundland. They ploughed fields and mowed meadows. They hauled wood for heating homes and kelp from the beaches to fertilize the gardens. Their natural intelligence, friendliness and willingness to work made them dependable companions for many, many years. Greg recalls the beauty of wild ponies running freely on the hills, and the sweet familiarity of seeing them in gardens and meadows. âI remember I used to go to Carbonear a lot. I would see these kids on their ponies riding down Water Street - all these girls with their hair flying and smiles on their faces. What a sight! I loved that, and I wish I could see it again.âHe adds, âIn the old days, of course, animals were free to roam.â However, in the 1970s, new municipal by-laws meant that the ponies could no longer wander and fences had to be built to keep them in. This was a major loss of natural habitat. Fences also led to increased costs associated with keeping ponies, and economic times in the late 1970s and â80s were hard. Thousands of ponies ended up being sold to meat processing plants across Canada and Europe. From an estimated plentiful population of over 12,000, the number of Newfoundland ponies dropped to about 100. âItâs a tragic story, what happened to the Newfoundland pony,â says Greg. There are now about 500 Newfoundland ponies throughout Canada and the US, thanks largely to the efforts of the Newfoundland Pony Society. These folks know that having a natural habitat where the ponies can graze, run and breed freely is essential to their health and survival as a species today.âReally, all they need is a little bit of pasture, a little bit of land to graze on,â says Greg warmly. âIâm sure the people of Newfoundland will be more than happy to give them that.âThe campaign for the creation of the Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park kicked off last year with a fundraising goal of $250,000 over two phases. Phase 1, the development of pasture, is in the works now. More than $50,000 has been raised to date and many volunteers have been hard at work fencing the land, rehabilitating the pasture and creating accessibility to the new park. Phase 2, set for next summer, imagines the development of a visitor centre and outdoor storyboards. The NPS hopes to welcome children and school groups to see and enjoy the ponies in their natural habitat, and maybe even have them display traditional activities in a demonstration area. In the future, the park could serve as a destination for tourists and ponies could be promoted in the provinceâs marketing campaigns. âI think itâs something we could work with - all those wonderful ads for tourists, those super-saturated colour ads we see. A few ponies in those ads would increase their value many percentages,â Greg laughs. Greg feels fortunate to be able to lend his voice to the NPS and the special animals that have done so much for our province. âTo have our own little pony here in Newfoundland, I think itâs just a great benefit and a great treat. Iâd like to see ponies roaming wild in the hills. Iâd like to see them in the parks - in Terra Nova and Gros Morne. Itâd be nice, wouldnât it? But I think the first part is to get them their own pasture. Letâs get the numbers back up to a respectable level where theyâre not so critically endangered.âTo find out more about the Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park, go to NewfoundlandPony.com. There, you can learn about volunteering, donating, or getting involved in protecting and celebrating our remarkable ponies.
By Todd Goodyear ("Todd's Table")When the weather starts cooling down in the evenings, as it often does in Newfoundland and Labrador in September, comfort food recipes seem to emerge once again. One of my personal favorite meals is beef stew. There are so many recipes out there for beef stew, and after cooking many of them I have settled on this variation as a true winner, in my opinion. (To be honest, I am not a fan of parsnip and the idea of adding bottled pickled onions to stew was a bit weird, but trust me, it really adds great flavour.)Growing up, the only stews we ate were made with either beef or moose meat and, regardless, it was just called âstew.â Nowadays we make chicken, pork, lamb or no meat stews, incorporating all sorts of flavours and ingredients. In our house these days, we are being conscious of the almighty carb intake and we limit the amount of bread we eat. Feel free to continue with the stew tradition of having bread or rolls with yours. I stick with just the stew, but I do miss the bread.Stick to Your Ribs Beef StewYield 4-6 servings2 lbs stewing beef2 tbsp oil (olive, vegetable or avocado)3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped3 stalks of celery, chopped1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into cubes2 parsnip, peeled and chopped2 large onions, peeled and chopped1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes2 cups red wine3-4 cups beef broth3-4 bay leaves3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary1 jar of pickled baby white onions (drained)Salt and pepper to taste3-4 small potatoes (optional)A good rule of thumb for cooking a meal like this is to use a large thick-bottomed pot. Preheat that pot over medium high heat. While waiting, pat dry the beef with paper towels and cut it into cubes. Season the meat with salt and pepper.Add the oil to the pot and add the meat in just a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pot. Brown the meat on all sides, remove and repeat until youâve browned all the meat. Add more oil with every batch of meat.This method takes a little more time and patience, but doing it this way will pay off in the end. Browning the meat properly will give you the great flavour needed for an awesome stew that your family and friends will enjoy.Once all the meat is browned and set aside, discard any leftover oil in the pot, but keep the brown bits and what may be stuck on to the bottom of the pot. This is where the hearty beef flavour will come from.Add the wine and half the beef broth. As that heats up, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to deglaze and gather up all the brown-bits goodness.Add half the vegetables (if you are using potato, wait until later to add them), browned beef, tomatoes (with juice), bay leaves and rosemary. Bring the pot to a simmer.Cook until the vegetables are almost tender, then add the jar of pickled onions and remaining vegetables (including all the potato). The first lot of vegetables will dissolve into the stew and help to make it thick, while the second lot will maintain their shape and make the stew look very delicious with their vibrant colours.Simmer until beef and vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.I am delighted to hear from readers who are trying the recipes that I write about. Keep the feedback coming and remember, cook with confidence. If I can do it, you can, too.
Societies have always benefitted from having libraries. More than just row upon row of novels, dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographies, textbooks and the like, libraries level our playing fields. Regardless of station, income or education, all have equal access to higher learning, entertainment and even escape inside their local library.In recent years, the word library has found use in other ways that create accessibility in our communities. Beyond books and films, libraries now provide free access to tools, music, food and even people. Here are some of the more unconventional libraries you may find near you (and if not, maybe youâll help start one!).Little Free LibraryPretty cabinets of gently loved books are popping up in neighbourhoods everywhere. They might be a purchased kit from the Little Free Library organization, or something lovingly refinished and repurposed. These are created by true book lovers who place them in a public space, often their own curbside, where theyâll be seen and used, where anyone can borrow a book or leave one for someone else. There are more than 100,000 locations registered with Little Free Libraries in the world today.LittleFreeLibrary.orgAirport LibrarySeveral European airports have dedicated space to a small library where travellers can check out a book to read while waiting for their flight; some require you to leave the book behind, others let you take it with you and return it when you return. And some accept drop-offs or trade-ins from passengers, similar to Little Free Libraries. In keeping with the times, some airports offer free e-book downloads to travellersâ iPads and e-readers. In 2018, Halifax Stanfield International Airport partnered with Halifax Public Libraries, allowing Nova Scotia passengers to use their library card to check out books from a kiosk in the airport. Learn more at BooksNowBoarding.ca.Tool LibraryBeing a handy person can save you lots of money as a homeowner, but building up the necessary toolkit can be expensive. Thatâs where knowing someone who can loan you a tool can be the perfect fix to your problem. The St. Johnâs Tool Library in St. Johnâs, NL, is a non-profit with an inventory of tools to loan out and volunteers with expertise in using them. They even offer DIY workshops where, for a modest fee, you can hone your handy skills.StJohnsToolLibrary.caBaby Clothes LibraryLaunched near the end of 2020, deep in pandemic times, the Baby Clothes Library non-profit group helps support families and lengthen the lifespan of baby products. Babies grow so fast that most of their clothes are hardly worn. Itâs expensive to keep a baby in new clothes, materials that are too valuable to just toss out. So the Baby Clothes Library packages gently used baby clothes, including outerwear and shoes, according to size and gender (and also gender neutral). For a very small membership fee ($10 per year), folks can borrow a bundle of clothes and return them when their baby outgrows them. The Baby Clothes Library operates out of the St. Johnâs Tool Library space and on Facebook.Facebook.com/SJBabyClothesLibrary/Musical Instrument LibraryArmed with a Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries (NLPL) card, you can loan out a musical instrument. The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library operates out of the A.C. Hunter Library in St. Johnâs, which joins a growing list of Canadian libraries adding musical instruments to their offerings thanks to generous donations. There are more than a dozen instruments in the collection, from an accordion to bongo drums, a ukele, a violin and several guitars, including one donated by local musician Alan Doyle.NLPL.ca/programs/musiclibrary/about.htmlHuman LibraryÂ®Users of the Human LibraryÂ® can have a conversation with a real person whoâs offered themselves as an âopen book.â Founded in Denmark in 2000, the Human LibraryÂ® means to give users a chance to learn about and from volunteers who represent sectors of society that may be underrepresented, commonly misunderstood or often stereotyped. These libraries have spread to six continents to become a global movement that celebrates diversity. In 2019, the now-defunct Refugee Immigration and Advisory Council hosted a Human LibraryÂ® event in St. Johnâs, NL, with five volunteer âtitlesâ to check out. They were all newcomers to the province willing to share their varying backgrounds and experiences, and included a Thai restauranteur and a Mexican filmmaker.HumanLibrary.orgCommunity Seed LibraryCreated to preserve heirloom, rare and culturally significant plants, community seed libraries loan out seed packets to members. Those members have to agree to sow the seed and grow the plants to maturity, and then harvest a portion of those seeds to return to the library. Itâs a way of keeping the libraryâs stock of significant seeds fresh and viable.Seeds.ca/sw8/web/diversity/community-seed-libraries
The NL food fishery sent us looking for ways to enjoy the catch of the day!Pan-Fried Cod With Pineapple and Tomato Salsa4 pieces cod loinFlour, for dredgingCanola oil, for frying1 cup pineapple, minced1 tomato, minced1 tsp lemon grass paste3/4 tsp cilantro, finely minced3 basil leaves, minced1 tbsp olive oil1/2 tsp black pepper3/4 tsp chives, minced1 tsp lime juiceMix last 9 ingredients together to make the salsa. Set aside to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Dredge fish in flour and fry in hot oil. Serve fish topped with salsa. Serves 4.
A beginnerâs guide to the night sky with tips from astronomer Garry DymondBy Nicola RyanYears ago, I really enjoyed a camping trip to a secluded spot in Terra Nova. One of the highlights was to be able to sit on the shore of a quiet pond on a gorgeous clear night and look at the stars. There were so many more to see without the bright lights of St. Johnâs intruding. I could see the familiar shape of the Big Dipper, but I was disappointed I couldnât pick out more constellations, or remember any of the myths or legends about the stars. I bet my ancestors, like all kinds of fishers and farmers before them, knew the night sky. They watched the stars to navigate, track the changing seasons and make sense of their place in the world.So I set out to learn more and I consulted with expert Garry Dymond for his best tips. Garry has been an amateur astronomer for more than 50 years and was awarded the Service Medal of the RoyalAstronomical Society of Canada (RASC) in 1991 for his work in bringing astronomy education to the public. From the moon to the Perseids, hereâs an introduction to Augustâs night sky for absolute beginners. 3, 2, 1, liftoff!Look Up, Way UpFirst, have a look at an August star chart - a map of the night sky. Search for one online and print it out, or check out an astronomy magazine or library book. The centre of the chart will show you the stars that are directly overhead. The outer rim of the chart represents the horizon, and it will be labelled with the directions north, east, south and west. This will give you an idea of what to look for including constellations, stars and galaxies. Websites such as Google Sky, and apps including StarWalk and Garryâs favourite, SkyEye, can also help you orient yourself.Next, choose a dark, clear night (sometimes hard to come by around here), without too much moonlight. It takes about an hour for your eyes to fully adjust to the dark, so give yourself some time outside to get set up. You donât need much: maybe a comfortable place to sit and a pair of ordinary binoculars. To find your way around in the dark after your eyes have adjusted, Garry recommends a flashlight with a red light - you can make your own by covering an ordinary flashlight with red cellophane or paper. Then look up, waaaay up. The Big DipperLetâs start with the most universally recognized star pattern out there: The Big Dipper. Itâs actually an asterism, a familiar pattern of stars, and part of the constellation Ursa Major, or the Bear. The Greek myth tells of beautiful Callisto, who caught Zeusâ eye and was transformed into a bear by jealous Hera. In Miâkmaq legend, the bowl of the Big Dipper forms a bear, and the stars in the handle represent hunters chasing it across the night sky. The seven stars of the Big Dipper are almost always visible in the northern hemisphere. Look for the outer edge of its bowl and follow about five stars upwards. There, youâll find the North Star, the anchor of the sky. The MoonNext, have a look through your binoculars at the moon. âThe best time to see the moon is when itâs at quarter,â says Garry, noting that the added contrast makes it easier to see the dozens of craters, seas and mountain ranges on the surface. Weâre all familiar with the benevolent gaze of the âman in the moon,â but there are hundreds of stories. In Chinese folklore, beautiful warrior Changâe is stranded on the moon with a white rabbit as her only companion. In Haida mythology, the figure there represents a banished boy gathering sticks. What do you see?ConstellationsLook eastward for another star pattern - The Summer Triangle. Itâs made up of three bright stars in three different constellations. First, look for the most brilliant star you can spot: thatâs Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, or the Harp. Stretch out an armâs length to the lower left of Vega to find Deneb, the brightest star of Cygnus, the Swan. Look to the lower right of Vega to find the third star of the Summer Triangle, Altair, the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. If youâre lucky and the sky is dark, you can even see the magnificent Milky Way between Vega and Altair. What seems like a delicate, misty band of light is actually millions of stars in our giant spiral galaxy. The PlanetsA handy tip from Garry: if a bright light in the sky sparkles or twinkles, itâs a star. If it doesnât, itâs probably a planet. This August, Jupiter and Saturn will be optimally bright and big, and youâll be able to see brilliant Venus, too.Jupiter appears in the sky as a bright, creamy white object and its four big moons are often pretty easy to see with binoculars. In order outward from Jupiter they are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Glorious Saturn takes on a yellowish hue, and if you have a telescope you might be able to spot the rings! Try looking around the 2nd of August, when Saturn comes to opposition: the tiny ice particles that make up the rings will shine more light back towards us brightly.Perseids Finally, every August brings around a super treat for stargazers: the annual Perseid meteor shower. âDefinitely look for the Perseids,â says Garry, âtheyâll be at their best on the 11th and 12th of August.â Give yourself at least an hour of observing time, and be patient. You should eventually be able to see meteors streaking across the sky in all directions, but thereâs no way to predict the spurts and lulls.The meteors seem to be coming from a point in the constellation Perseus - thatâs how they got their name - but they are actually debris from the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle blasting into our atmosphere!The night sky is wondrous and full of marvels. I hope this handy introduction inspires you to get out there and see for yourself.
By Linda BrowneThereâs nothing quite like sitting outside on a hot summerâs day and chugging back an ice cold drink, or slurping up a soft serve, to help beat the heat. While chilled treats are a delicious way to keep cool, the piercing pain that often comes when you drink or eat them too fast is a real bummer.Youâve likely experienced ice cream headache - a.k.a. âbrain freezeâ or âcold stimulus headache,â or technically speaking, âsphenopalatine ganglioneuralgiaâ (thatâs quite a mouthful) - dozens of times. But have you ever wondered what goes on in your mouth and noggin when that slushie or ice cream makes first contact? Lucy Nakibuuka, a public health practitioner in St. Johnâs, NL, gives Downhome the scoop. While thereâs some debate as to the exact cause of this phenomenon, she says, there does seem to be a general consensus. It all starts when the cold food or drink makes contact with the hard palate (the bony plate in the roof of your mouth) and triggers the trigeminal nerve (or fifth cranial nerve, which is responsible for providing sensations to the face), which carries the pain signal to the brain.âThereâs a nerve thatâs connected to the roof of your palate that conducts that cold temperature really fast, up to your scalp or forehead. So that nerve has three branches. One goes up to your forehead and scalp; the other is connected to your palate, what we call the maxillary branch; and then the last one is connected to your jaw line. So itâs thought that when the ice cold temperature hits the roof of your mouth, thereâs a very fast conduction,â Nakibuuka explains. âSo thereâs a constriction of [blood] vessels, and whenever vessels constrict you get pain because thereâs no supply of oxygen. So thereâs a very quick constriction of vessels, or narrowing, and then thereâs a rapid expansion.âThankfully, the pain (usually felt in the forehead or temples) that results from this rapid constriction and dilation of blood vessels is fleeting, typically lasting just a few seconds or minutes. (The pain thatâs associated with brain freeze is known as referred pain, since the brain interprets the cold stimulus as coming from the head, rather than the mouth.) So instead of reaching for the aspirin, just wait it out. However, if you want to kick the pain to the curb faster, you can try drinking something warm or sticking your tongue to the roof of your mouth - âas long as your tongue isnât still ice cold,â adds Nakibuuka - to help balance the temperature. Of course, the most obvious and easiest thing to do is eat your ice cream more slowly. But then you face another conundrum: How to eat your treat slow enough so that you donât get brain freeze, but fast enough so that it doesnât melt?Ice cream headaches are an interesting phenomenon; but as common as they are, we donât really know much about them, Nakibuuka says, as thereâs been relatively little research done in the area. Thatâs probably because, as unpleasant as they may be, ice cream headaches are not a serious affliction and generally nothing to worry about. While some researchers say brain freeze is more common in those who experience migraines, the late Dr. Seymour Diamond, who co-founded the Chicago-based National Headache Foundation, noted that most studies have found no such link, according to a piece published on the foundationâs website. Another study suggests that ice cream headaches could be more common in people whose parents experience them. In a 1997 paper published in the British Medical Journal by Dr. Joseph Hulihan (who, at the time, was an assistant professor at the Department of Neurology at Temple University Health Sciences Center in Philadelphia), ice cream headaches occur âin one-third of a randomly selected population,â and they happen âregardless of whether someone suffers from other types of headache.â He also notes that since the back of the palate âis most likely to produce the referred pain of ice cream headache,â people can avoid it by simply keeping cold foods away from this area.âMost people arrive at such preventative measures without the advice of doctors,â he notes. âIce cream abstinence is not indicated.â So the next time youâre enjoying a cool treat, slow down; hopefully, your ice cream screams will be due to pleasure and not pain.
A coupleâs âcruise of a lifetimeâ took in ports all over Newfoundland and in southern Labrador.By Kim PloughmanIt was the summer of 1991, and a Newfoundland boat captain felt the urge to go to places he had often visited over the years - only this time, he would sail into these outports. Beside him at the helm, as his first mate, would be his life mate. A course was charted, maps were gathered and the sea dream began. As day broke on June 27, 1991, the captain and his hesitant first mate cruised out of Long Pond, Conception Bay aboard the 35-foot sailboat, La Reine Basque (The Basque Queen). Before their summer journey ended on August 9, Augustus (Gus) and Kay Etchegary would clock 1,172 nautical miles and sail into 25 outports in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as travel to another 15 by car. Kay kept a daily log of their 42-day voyage. Recently, the couple reflected upon that summer when they shared what they call âa cruise of a lifetime.âOne day at a timeOn the very first day of the expedition, Kay recorded her trepidation: ââ¦I was very apprehensive about the whole idea,â she wrote. âI didnât think I was capable of helping him and managing the boat, nor would I be able to sail offshore, period.âGus, on the other hand, was full of excitement and prepared extensively for their six weeks at sea around a province he knew inside and out, primarily from his longtime involvement in building the fishing industry through his work with Fisheries Products International and various boards and organizations. The death of his brother the year previous had played on his mind and inspired him to make the dream trip sooner rather than later. With her seasoned captain, the first and only mate on the journey figured the only way through such an uncertain voyage ahead was by taking it âone day at a time.â The first day on the water was less than inspirational for the seafaring souls. They battled fog, intense winds, and numerous icebergs and growlers as they sailed to Cape St. Francis and turned southeast towards Cape Spear. The next three days were spent in St. Johnâs seeking refuge from the rougher elements of the North Atlantic, especially the black, dense fog hanging over the coast. By Canada Day, it seemed they were finally on their way, but the fog, headwinds and sea ice continued to embattle their progress. They hunkered down in Fermeuse and then Trepassey before reaching St. Lawrence, with the help of the local Coast Guard and - finally - a clear night sky graced with a beautiful moon and stars. Kay noted on July 4: âOne thing about this trip for sure - nothing is routine. We eat and sleep at very odd hours.âOver this summer they shared on the ocean and land (âsurf and turf,â Kay quips), the couple entertained themselves with meeting locals and visiting friends, playing cards, eating fresh seafood (often donated by locals) and taking daily strolls through communities.Circumnavigating the island clockwise, a direction apparently favoured by knowledgeable yachtsmen, they sailed into quaint places like St. Pierre, Harbour Breton, Isle aux Morts, Ramea, Codroy, Norris Point, St. Barbe and Quirpon, and into larger towns like Port au Choix, St. Anthony and Catalina. Looking back at the 40 outports they experienced in 1991 (one year prior to the 1992 cod moratorium being declared), they were struck by the amount of people walking around âidle,â they say.âThatâs the part that kills me,â explains Gus, who never misses a chance to talk passionately about the fishery. âSo many communities badly impacted by the loss of the fishery back then, and for many, remains so today. The fishery was their bread and butter!âOn July 25, the couple steered their vessel towards Red Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the south coast of Labrador, while once again dodging âoverwhelming and nerve-rackingâ icebergs in the Strait of Belle Isle. In her diary, Kay also recorded a memorable moment: âWe were treated to a very special sight - one huge monster of a whale. I swear it was the biggest either of us has ever seen, at least 60-70 feet. It was so close to us that I was afraid it would tip the boat over if it came any closer.âFor Gus, a Basque descendent, arriving at Red Bay was the highlight of his ocean excursion. âEntering the harbour with the feeling that my ancestors had carried on a whaling operation in the early 1500s [here] gave me a real emotional high. Itâs almost incredible to think that 500 years ago, 2,000 Basques were operating the largest whaling factory in the world in Red Bay.âThe couple would spend three interesting days exploring the Basque whaling station on Saddle Island and the museum guarding the tangible history of the long-ago whaling operation - ovens, piles of red tiles, shipwrecks and even graves.For Kay, she delighted in seeing places like St. Lawrence with all the white houses, and fell in love with the âpeacefulâ ports of Harbour Breton, Francois and Bonne Bay. On August 2, they witnessed a historical moment when the rebuilt Viking vessel, Gaie, sailed into LâAnse aux Meadows. In her diary, Kay wrote, âWe waited and took photos of people crowding the small wharf and the hundreds of cars all over the place. It was truly a historic moment. Half an hour after their arrival, we attended the cake cutting by our premier, Mr. Wells, and Icelandâs president and officials from Norway.âFrom there, they continued to navigate the northeast coast. On August 9, they finally nosed La Reine Basque into home port at Long Pond.Reflecting back, Gus, now 97, describes âobserving the most breathtaking scenery anyone can imagine,â adding, âKay and I have had the opportunity to visit many places in all parts of the world and we have enjoyed ourselves, but we can honestly say that no travelling experience can match our 42 days around Newfoundland and Labrador.â