As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. In truth, some of the maps we use today haven’t been updated since the second world war. Navigating uncharted waters can prove difficult, but it comes with the territory of working in such a remote part of the world.
Over the past two months though, I’ve been navigating a different type of uncharted territory: the deleting of what little data we have by the Trump administration.
At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.
I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun.
Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge.
Aries- Much like Sirens, Aries’ mermaids are alluring. Though they don’t share the same genetics as the fabled Sirens, whom were part human part bird, they have similar characteristics. They have a ruby red tail that has a fan-like fin, and have many jewels adorning them. They like lavish things, and their suitors will normally try to win their favor by giving them gifts. They are the most hot-headed of the mermaid’s, causing some quarrels here and there. They are seen around South America, near the coasts of Venezuela. Aries’ usually have blonde or white hair, but tan skin. They get along well with predatory fish, but aren’t opposed to chatting with any other marine life that happens by. They are the most social of the group and are very passionate about their ideas. They like to tell stories about their adventures or of their families. When they transform their legs have a permanent stain of red.
Taurus- Seen around Europe, people think they might be related to Merrows. They have flexible tails that vary from dark greens to olive in color, and they have a extra fin on either flank of their tail. It’s translucent and is used to help them glide smoothly through the water. Taurus’ are connected to nature and often will possess great abilities to make plants grow. They use the mud from the banks to draw designs on their skin and are usually in groups of two or three. They have webbed fingers and slightly sharper nails for hunting. They don’t waste any part of their prey, and bones are used to fashion into jewelry or other accessories. They don’t like being in crowd of humans, and will venture onto land at night by themselves if they desire it. When they change, they are distinguished by their fingers.
Gemini- A love affair, these mermaids are always born in sets of two. They are from the mating of a mermaid and human, and due to this it causes a defect in one of the twins. Only one is able to grow a tail, while the other is merely human with merfolk blood in their veins. They are separated at birth, mermaid going with mermaid, and the human going home with its parent. They are raised differently, and only on their first full moon of their 18th birthday will they meet. The mermaids from this affair are varied in colors, but have never been seen with a black or white tail. They believe that is because of a force similar to yin and yang, light and dark. These mermaids are known to have powers relating to wind manipulation. Gemini’s are forbidden from going on land unless they are willing to give up their tail forever. When they change, their hybrid blood snaps into play and they are unable to return to the water, therefore stranded as a human.
Cancer- Mermaids who lives in tropical climates, like Brazil or places alike. Prefers warmer waters to cold ones, and likes playing in waves.. They are often spotted near coasts but haven’t been caught on camera, and they seem to be more curious than anything about people. Their tails are normally white or silver, and sometimes they have foam green fins.Cancer’s tails are sleek, and up close the scales are hard and sharp for protection. These particular mermaid’s fins are smaller, but transparent towards the end and are in the shape of a crescent. They seem to bond more with animals that are on the ocean floor, such as crabs and starfish. They like to collect lost trinkets from the sandy reefs. Their gills are located underneath their jaw, and have a pink tinge to them. They don’t like going on the shore, and so they don’t transform unless they have to. Their giveaway is that their legs will have splotches of white or silver.
Leo- Similar to Sirena Chilota, they are generous mermaids. Found in various oceans, they are a peaceseeker to the inhabitants. Usually they are seen with a long golden tail, broad but beautiful that gets darker towards the fins. Their scales shine in light and always seem to be like polished gold. Leo’s are a gorgeous mermaid without doubt, and are often viewed as a beacon of self-confidence and luck when spotted. They are friendly to everyone as long as they haven’t threatened their safety, and do not fear humans. They are known to save children from drowning and bring them to the shore. When they dry, their tails turn into legs. The telltale sign of them being mermaids is that on their legs they will have small patches of shiny scales. These mermaids tend to be reasonably tall and lithe. They like pearls and will commonly use strings of them as hair accessories. Their gills are just below their third ribs.
Virgo- The most calm of the bunch, Virgo’s are freshwater mermaids. Their scales have no set color and are opal-like, showing just the reflections of light around them. These mermaids have short tails with long fins, and scales around their eyes. They have a love for flowers and will decorate themselves with any they can get their hands on. Virgo’s also have serrated teeth, used for easily eating their prey. These mermaids are the most common ones to have humans fall in love with them, and will often allow children to find their bodies of water and let them play with them or weave items into necklaces. They have an attraction to shiny objects, like bottle caps or rings. They do not change into humans, but will often put themselves on shores, rocks, or grass for the enjoyment of the sun on their skin. They are always near a water source though, and if they stay out too long they will become weak, and eventually die if not able to return to their water.
Libra- This species of mermaid is not particular about their homes, and are seen pretty much everywhere. Their tails are average size, and are various shades of blue, usually leaning towards lighter blues. Their fins are in the shape of a horseshoe, and have a clear webbing between the ends of them. Libra’s are not afraid of humans, and will swim alongside them so long as they deem it safe. They often will be heard singing around 5 in the evening, though no one is sure why they choose that time. These mermaids like to stay together, and are rarely seen alone. They’re similar to dolphins, and happen to get along well with the aquatic creatures. Libra’s aren’t the biggest fan of leaving the water, but when they do their giveaway is the clear webbing between their toes. They’re the strongest swimmers and are able to push their way through tsunami’s and other rough water.
Scorpio- These mermaids live in cold waters and often will not go to warm climates. They dwell in caverns and are seen as often transformed as they aren’t. Scorpio’s tails are dark purples, sometimes indigo, with a black stripes just above their fins, which are flowy and sometimes iridescent. This is also how they are distinguished on land, as around their ankles they will have a dark stripe on their skin. These mermaids have thin gills on their necks. They have an odd fascination with the moon, and will usually come together in groups to view a full moon and celebrate a new beginning. They like to carry a bag with them around their waist, usually tied with a reed or string of shells. They use this to grab anything that catches their eye. They are gifted with a great memory and long lifespan, taking on one lover at a time and are assumed to have at least one child. Their communication with other marine life is unknown.
Sagittarius- Sagittarius’ are the faster swimmers; they use their long tail and broad fins to streak through the water like a arrow. Their tails vary between a series of greens and yellows, and have thick scales that hunters aren’t able to penetrate with their weapons. They are wild, but still smart enough to ensure their own safety. They like hot climates best, but some have adapted to arctic waters. They have sharpened nails for protection, and their brow bones and temples are covered in scales. Sagittarius’ are normally patrolling for any signs of trouble, and are quick to ward off any predators from other merfolk. They’re quick problem solvers. They pride themselves in their ability to sustain and protect their family, and are easily one of the easiest mermaids to get along with. They enjoy looking for any items that are clunky and outrageous looking, finding them interesting to study. These mermaids will sometimes go on land, and there is no distinguishing features.
Capricorn- These deep-sea mermaids like to keep to themselves, and are said to be an omen of fortune when they are spotted. Their tails are darker, varying between black and shades of brown, and come in multiple shapes. Their bodies have evolved to their surroundings of darkness, and down the flanks of their tails they have rings that are bioluminescent. This attracts their prey, making it easy for them to acquire. Capricorn’s eyes have adjusted, and have a nightvision-like effect, but when they do go to the surface they’re close to blind. They can comfortably go to the mid of the ocean, but the closer they get to the sun the worse off they are. Many believe that these mermaids are considered one of the most dangerous if caught since they have a higher level of testosterone than others. Capricorn’s will sabotage any man-made equipment if it is uncomfortably close to them, biting through cables and scratching important devices.
Aquarius- Aquarius’ have duo-toned tails, usually between teal and pink with a flexible bottom fin. Their gills are down their ribs, and are protected by a cluster of scales. They’re the most mischievous of the mermaids, and are known to mess with anyone who is swimming near them. These prankster’s like to pinch and poke, but are pretty much harmless. Because of this as well, they will sometimes steal valuables for their own use, even if they don’t really have a use for it. But, they’re very friendly despite this. They just like to hoard things. Aquarius’ spend a lot of time out of water, and have no problem blending in with humans. Their mermaid mark when they transform is a discoloration of the skin in the shape of various seashells. They enjoy listening to music, whether it’s some radio on the beach or the singing of merfolk, it’s a pastime of theirs, though few dabble in it themselves.
Pisces- Mermaids who populate the oceans near South Asia, these ones are typically timid. They are the most fish-like of the signs, and have white and orange dappled tails, like a koi fish. Their fins are much more loose than others, making them more flimsy and dainty. Pisces’ have gills on their necks, and have little whiskers that protrude from their cheeks. They travel in groups and are thought of as a beacon of youth and beauty, and though they stray from older humans, they like to play with children. It’s said that if one of these creatures is seen on the morning after a harvest moon, the person who saw them will be given a blessing. They like to collect stones and gems, making them into accessories. To propose a lifelong partnership to another mermaid, Pisces’ will search for the biggest gem in their collection and present it to their partner. When they go on land, its brief and only for a specific reason. Their telltale mark is the whiskers on their face.
The Moon, Planets and, Oh My! by Mark Ledingham Via Flickr: The reflections of the setting moon (left) and the planets, Mars, Venus and Uranus, were easily seen with the naked eye on 1 March. Viewed closely, the outline of the quarter moon may be discovered in this image. The northern lights highlighted the events of the evening.
Location: The Norwegian Sea, at Ersfjordbotn, Arctic Norway.
For far too long in this country, progressive Canadians have been fighting a rearguard action against privatization, deregulation and austerity. In many ways when it comes to privatization its become a one-way street. Right wing governments, privatize, we fight back, but we don’t aim to take anything back that belongs to us.
I’ll give you an example from my region. In 1997, the Liberals privatized the Hudson’s Bay Rail Line in the port of Churchill. They sold it for almost nothing to a US billionaire, who hangs out with people like the Koch Brothers. Now this year, this company asked for subsidization by the government. When they didn’t get it, they shut the port down; Canada’s only deep water arctic seaport.
The solution is obvious; Nationalize the Port.
Work with First Nations and Northern Communities to build a future. But what’s been the response from the Federal Liberals? Not only have they not moved forward to renationalize, but they are embarking on an unprecedented privatization plan for Transportation Infrastructure across our country.
So I think its time in this country, that we start saying: You Privatize it, We nationalize it. “You deregulate it, we regulate it. You bring in unfair trade deals, we bring in fair trade deals.
And increasingly I think we have to say something else. One of the leading Black Lives Matters activists in Toronto, Hashim Yussuf, said at our national forum on precarious work, he shared a chant that Black Lives Matter put out. That talked about how we all need to recognize
"The system isn’t broken, it was built this way”.
What we need in this country is a major change to that system. It starts with recognizing that one of the main reasons we have growing inequality; the reason that indigenous people live in third world living conditions; the reason that discrimination and division is still present; the reason women are still unequal; the reason millennials are faced with precarious employment and high student debt is because of a system that is failing all of us.
We must send a message that there is a better way.
deep red tail, travels all over, wears gifts from infatuated humans, often mistaken for underwater fire or sunken rubies, spotted teasing sailors out at sea
pearly pink tail, lives near a small ocean side town with a legend of a beautiful mermaid, never seen but often a lovely inhuman song is heard
sunny yellow tail, goes from beach to beach, collects bottled messages among other things, wears shell charm jewelry, likes to watch humans from a distance, occasionally talks to a sole person wandering the beach but no one believes the person after
silvery tail, lives near a ligthhouse, pulls drowning people to shore, pearls, spotted singing on moonlit nights
golden tail, lives in a coral reef castle, friends with all the sea creatures, spotted on beaches of tropical islands but disappears before any photos can be taken
off-white cream tail with spots of beige and brown, lives in a cave, leads lost people to their cave for shelter, sometimes those who have done unspeakable things mysteriously disappear and those who have been wronged receive sudden good luck, spotted just before these strange incidents
pastel blue and mint green tail, lives near a bustling city, fell in love with a human, makes various arts and crafts with what they find in the water, spotted combing hair
deep blue tails, lives out at sea, may lure a sailor to their death or save them (depends on the sailor), shark teeth necklaces, knows what lies in the deepest crevices of the ocean, spotted staring up out of the water with glowing eyes
plum tail, never stays in one place, decorated with souvenirs of adventures, has pulled entire ships to shore, can often be heard talking and laughing but if spotted will smile before swimming away
emerald green tail, lives in arctic waters, helps people without them knowing, concerned about melting ice caps, could fight a sea lion if they had to, silhouette spotted under the ice
shimmering rainbow tail, lives in deep water but is decorated with human trinkets from their visits to the shore, wants to learn about both humans and bottom of the sea, spotted sitting on rocks staring up at the sky
iridescent aqua tail, lives near a beach with a tragic story of a mermaid and her lost love, will just as soon drown you as play with you, wears jewelry of shards of pottery and sea glass, on stormy nights some say they hear weeping
The Arctic is one of the most pristine—and fragile—regions on Earth. Today, President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada announced historic steps to protect its waters and our planet for future generations: go.wh.gov/Arctic
Aries: Panther with fur made of actual fire, eyes black as coal. Teeth drip with lava. Can swim through lava and walk through molten earth with no problems.
Taurus: A raven large enough to fly on, matte black feathers and cold, dull purple eyes. leaves a trail of smoke when it flies.
Gemini: A white tiger with dark black stripes. silver claws and teeth that can bite/cut through any material. A roar so powerful the earth shakes. A tail almost as long as it’s main body.
Cancer: An elk with antlers made of ice. Icicles sharp sharp enough to kill drip down from them. Eyes that reflect the ocean. Fur that is as cold as snow. When it walks on water it freezes the surface.
Leo: A lion actually made of earth. It’s fur is like grass, and it’s eyes reflect the sun itself. Wherever it goes, it spreads life. It’s mane sometimes sprouts wildflowers.
Virgo: A bear made of the night sky. It’s fur contains constellations and planets. It’s eyes are stars themselves. It is a peaceful, loving creature-until one of it’s loved ones are hurt. If that occurs, they have claws sharp enough to rip through rock.
Libra: A giant bird with transparent feathers that reflect it’s environment. Eyes that glow red. when it lands, it levels out the ground beneath it.
Scorpio: A lioness made of shadow. It lurks in caves, afraid to be seen. Poison runs through it’s veins, deadly enough to kill by contact. large canines, and claws.
Sagittarius: A wolf that can outrun the wind. pure white fur and deep, sea blue eyes. Long, jet black claws and teeth. Spends most of it’s life fleeing, not fighting.
Capricorn: A creature with no defined shape nor species. Constantly turns from one to the next. They are identified with a scar, an X across their chest, that they contain in every form. iridescent fur/scales/skin.
Aquarius: A large, dragon-like lizard with matte black scales. Eats rocks, and breathes out fire and smoke. Spits up lava over it’s enemies. Creates deserts.
Pisces: A large ice dragon with scales comprised of sea ice, to resemble icicles, scales are almost clearer than glass. Lives in arctic waters. Breathes super-cold breath to create more ice. It’s wings glisten in the sky due to the little pieces of snow, it can be blinding. Very loyal to its master.