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    Monday
    May182009

    Willow Creek - Site Visit

    This past week, I was in Calgary, only about 90 minutes away from the Willow Creek site.  So I decided to make the trip and check out how everything is doing.

    It's been six months since we finished up over there, and I wish I was checking out the site at the end of this summer instead - because, things haven't really been given time to grow in.  But the great news is that a large majority of the willow is alive and sprouting!

    There is some not-so-great stuff...a bit of gullying here and there, some slight slope failure, but nothing too fatal Though keep in mind, this is coming from my less-than-expert vantage point.

    I took some video of the site and will be posting it as soon as we make the Willow Creek Project available - which, if all goes well, will be at the end of this week!  Tomorrow, we'll be finishing the audio tweaks and then, all there is to do is design the DVD and start shipping!

    Wednesday
    May132009

    Soil Nailing: Willow Creek Footage

    Hi All,

    James Here,

    In our upcoming Dirt Time episode on the Willow Creek Project, we go through a lot of different slope and streambank stabilization techniques (we'll post a list soon).  But one of the cooler techniques we cover is Slope Nailing - or Soil Nail Launching.

    For those of you who don't know, Soil Nail Launching is a slope stabilization technique wherein steel rods are shot into the slope, providing structure for the slope to stabilize itself around.  That's a pretty loose description, for more information, definitely check out:  www.SoilNailLauncher.com

    Now, from what I understand, in the past slope nailing was somewhat of an involved process that dealt with drilling, grouting, and had multiple steps....kind of complicated. 

    That is, until Morsky Industrial Services, out of Saskatchewan, brought a way-cool machine  to the site that shoots the rods (with great force) directly into the hillside.  No muss, no fuss.

    You can check out a little more about the Soil Nailing Machine machine here.

    In the finished video (due out soon) we talk quite a bit about it.  But here is a quick little video showing what I'm talking about...

     

    That is apparently one of only FOUR machines in the world! (currently)

    The edit is just about done.  I'm actually headed back to the site soon to get some 'after' footage.  So there will be tonnes of updates on this site in the near future.

    Keep checking back!  ...Or better yet, subscribe to our RSS Feed.

     

    -James

    Tuesday
    May122009

    John McCullah IS History

    It's official John McCullah is what history is made of...or at least that's what the Redding Searchlight would have us believe...click here for the full story.

    Monday
    May112009

    Sustainable Development Video Game

     

    Back in March, I was covering the Game Developers Conference down in San Fransico for New Media Manitoba here in Winnipeg. While there, we came across City Rain - An award-winning video game that is all about sustainable development. For all you gamers out there, it's a mix between SimCity and Tetris.

    In the game, you play the role of Mayor, making decisions on what's best for your city. To quote their website:

    City Rain has simple mechanics: the building fall from de sky, or “rain”, randomly and it's the player's duty to choose where is the best place to put them. But don't think that the player is all alone in this task. He can count on Catherine, who will help him by giving advices or criticizing the administration of the city.

    It's a fun game and would be a really useful teaching tool - especially for a younger demographic.

    There is a free demo of the game on the site, here.

    Check it out.

    -james

     

    Friday
    May082009

    Riffle + Vane = Viffle

     

    John was recently out and about, checking up on his Sulphur Creek project.  Here's a snap of a 'Viffle' in action.  A Viffle is what you get when you take a tradtional 'Newbury Rock Riffle' grade control structure and cross it with a rock vane control.   So you get all of that lovely step-down, scour pool grade control action of the Newbury Rock Riffle, along with the current, re-directive control of a rock vane. 

    Here's a sample typical detailing what's going on below the surface.

     

    For more great streambank stabilization material, check out:

    E-SenSS and/or BioDraw