#AmazonAdventure, #OntarioScienceCentre, #AmazonRainforest, #CharlesDarwin, #HenryBates, #MauriceBitran, #IMAX, #JonathanBarker, # CalumFinlay, #AlfredWallace, #EdBirch, #RobertDaws, #SeanB.Carroll, #MikeSlee, #WendyMacKeigan; #CarlKnutson
Toronto, Oct 5 (Canadian-Media): The film, Amazon Adventure, played at Ontario Science Centre recounts the tale of a naturalist, explorer and scientist Henry Walter Bates' 11‐year of expedition in Amazon Rainforest and his proof to Charles Darwin's then controversial theory of natural selection, the scientific explanation for the development of life on Earth.
“This compelling real life story chronicles the search for experimental proof for Darwin’s theory of natural selection in the remote Amazon basin,” Maurice Bitran, Ph.D., CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre was quoted by media, “providing an inspiring demonstration of the scientific method at work as well as highlighting the curiosity and perseverance required for scientific breakthrough.”
Dr. Maurice Bitran joined the Ontario Science Centre as Chief Executive Officer on June 16, 2014. His academic background in physics and astronomy, including a Ph.D. in radioastronomy, and the fact that he had taught science at the grade-school, high-school and university levels best fits his role in the Ontario Science Centre. During his tenure as the 2012 -13 Ontario Visiting Fellow at the University of Toronto, he taught a graduate course on the role of science in public policy.He had been the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Integrated Environmental Policy Division, Ministry of the Environment, where his responsibilities for the environmental policy agenda also included climate change, the great lakes, and air and water quality. As an ADM of Policy and Programs at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, ADM of the Secretariat to the Premier’s Jobs and Prosperity Council, Maurice also had
been Ontario's chief negotiator for the trade negotiations with the European Union.
Maurice Bitran: Courtesy of Science Centre
Ontario Science Centre, a Centennial project and an agency of the Government of Ontario funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, reportedly welcomed more than 51 million visitors since it opened in 1969, and has become an international leader in free‐choice science learning by implementing and adopting an interactive approach around the world.
Ontario Science Centre is an iconic cultural attraction and is home to interactive experiences with science and technology. We not only develop and source the world’s best exhibitions but aim to make a fundamental difference in the lives of our visitors by providing them the skills and attributes to create a better future for the planet.
Amazon Rainforest, reportedly, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, well-known for its biodiversity, covers much of northwestern Brazil extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries and is crisscrossed by thousands of rivers, including the powerful Amazon.
The filmmakers' picturization of Amazon Adventure increases the public’s understanding of the concept of natural selection, the heart of evolutionary, molecular and genetic biology.
This factor also leads to an overall understanding of how the natural world works in the most entertaining and powerful way, so as to
become an important part of lifelong learning for students and general audiences.
Amazon Rainforest: Facetime
“On these expanded membranes Nature writes, as on a tablet, the story of the modification of species.” Bates was quoted.
IMAX, according to official reports, is a 70 mm motion picture film format and a set of cinema projection standards developed in Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw.
Jonathan Barker, Executive Producer, CEO of SK Films was quoted by the media to say, “The Giant Screen is the ideal format to take audiences to places that they might not normally go; and to see amazing creatures they might not normally see. From a humble background, with an unstoppable passion for science and life, Bates played guitar, had a pet monkey, relied on Amazonian natives to survive and learned many of their languages, and made crucial contributions to our understanding of the natural world. He should be more widely known and we’re thrilled to introduce his remarkable story to the public.”
SK Films is a Toronto‐based, multi‐platform entertainment content provider, founded in 1998 by Barker and late Robert Kerr, the co‐founder of IMAX Corporation, and a world leader in 3D film production and distribution.
Henry Bates: Wikipedia
Born into a family of literate, middle-class stocking makers in Leicester, England, Bates early in his life, develops a passion for the natural world, particularly insects and butterflies.
As a young man, he with his fellow naturalist Alfred Wallace (Ed Birch actor plays Alfred Wallace) get funding from a wealthy London patron for their journey to the Amazon in exchange for regular shipments of specimens. Bates and Wallace decide to split, while on their journey, to cover more territory and Wallace moves on to East Asia, but Bates remains in the Amazon and continues to do his research and study variations of species in the Amazon to answer the question: Do species change?
Reportedly for over 20 years, from the time when he voyaged to remote parts of the world, Charles Darwin (Robert Daws actor plays Charles Darwin) was working on his theory of natural selection, which he finally published in 1859, called On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
It was published while Bates was returning home to England after 11 years of researching and collecting in the Amazon.
While in the Amazon, Bates collected and catalogued specimens from over 14,000 species — 8,000 of them new to science -–including over 100 species of butterflies.
Batesian mimicry reportedly is still being taught in science classrooms around the world.
Calum Finlay, actor played Henry Bates
Through his fieldwork with mimicking butterflies, Bates also put forward the first ever case for speciation, the gradual and slow transformation of one species into another much to the joy of Charles Darwin, as it was the much needed specimen proof for his then controversial theory of natural selection.
Darwin was reported to have said that Bates’ discoveries brought them close in witnessing the creation of a new species on this Earth, which he included in the next edition of his then famous book 'On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection'.
Three years of dedicated and expert research of more than 100 scientists and historical advisors led to the making of Amazon Adventure
The team of authentic scientists made use of actual instruments and tools from the 1850s, and incorporaed many of Bates’ own words based on his scientific field notebooks, botanical drawings and butterflies he personally collected over 160 years ago.
Amazon Adventure was a recipient of a total of five awards at the 2017 Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) including: Best Film Short Subject, Best Film for Lifelong Learning, Best Original Score for Antonio Pinto, Best Cinematography for Gerry Vasbenter and Richard Kirby, Best Sound Design for Peter Thillaye.
Amazon Adventure Awards: Facebook
The extensive team of reportedly more than 100 scientists from various specialties, who have been advisors on the film Amazon Adventure, including many field biologists, have commented on a realistic portrayal of the detailed process of scientific discovery and its time‐consuming nature.
The basic methods Bates used over 150 years ago are still used today, except with more modern technology, DNA and other techniques. However, the process framework is as relevant today as it was then.
Henry Bates used the scientific research approach putting an idea into a theory, testing the idea through observation, specimen collecting, trial and error, testing, analysis and so on.
In order for the audiences to relate to Bates as both a scientist and a regular person, the filmmakers -- including Executive Producers Jonathan Barker & Sean B. Carroll and Director Mike Slee and SK Films' Co-writer, Wendy MacKeigan -- make him more relevant and his science more readily understood by audiences of all ages.
They also make the clues in Bates’ story -- told like a great scientific detective mystery -- unfold in real time in the mesmerizing world phenomenon of animal mimicry, now known as “Batesian mimicry,” whereby a non‐poisonous species slowly and unknowingly changes into a mimic of a poisonous one, to have a better chance of survival.
The common occurrence of competition seen between Bates and Wallace to be the first in their field to present relevant evidence, the isolation and loneliness of Bates as he talks with the creatures for company are often prevalent among scientists today who spend extended periods of time alone or with just one other colleague.
The film also highlights reportedly the importance of patience and perseverance all still relatable to today’s scientists.
Students today also reportedly consider Bates' story as relevant and inspirational contribution to science and their understanding of the world around them.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
.Toronto, Oct 4 (Canadian-Media): Amazon Adventure recounts the true story of a naturalist and explorer Henry Bates’ 11 year journey, as a young man, through the biodiverse Amazon rainforest risking his life for science in the 1850’s.
The Amazon rainforest is reportedly the world’s largest tropical rainforest, well known for its biodiversity. It coves much of northwestern Brazil extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries and is crisscrossed by thousands of rivers, including the powerful Amazon.
As in any great detective story, audiences experience, in IMAX®, the hardships and the dedication with which Bates unearths his major discovery of the phenomenon of mimicry by certain animals by which they adopt resemblance to others to deceive predators and gain an advantage to survive.
IMAX is reportedly a 70 mm motion picture film format and a set of cinema projection standards developed in Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw.
“The Giant Screen is the ideal format to take audiences to places that they might not normally go; and to see amazing creatures they might not normally see,” Executive Producer Jonathan Barker, CEO of SK Films was reported by the media. “From a humble background, with an unstoppable passion for science and life, Bates played guitar, had a pet monkey, relied on Amazonian natives to survive and learned many of their languages, and made crucial contributions to our understanding of the natural world. He should be more widely known and we’re thrilled to introduce his remarkable story to the public.”
Bates was responsible for his crucial contributions to biology: identifying 8,000 species new to science the creation of a new species, which Charles Darwin called the “beautiful proof” of Natural Selection.
Audiences will be wowed by the mind-boggling examples of camouflage and mimicry and inspired by Bates’ endless curiosity and determination to explore the wilds of nature from the time he was a young boy.
As in SK’s award winning Flight of the Butterflies, nature is extraordinary and science is adventure, just waiting to be discovered.
#HurricaneIrma, #Caribbean, #TheInternationalCharteronSpaceandMajorDisasters, #AntiguaandBarbuda, #Turks&Caicos, #DominicanRepublic, #Haiti, #Canada'sRadarsat-2, #MichelDoyon, #CanadianSpaceAgency, #SyntheticApertureRadar, #SAR, #NASA, #DavidGreen
Toronto, Oct 2 (Canadian-Media): When Caribbean -- a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts -- was hit by Hurricane Irma leading to its destruction last month, authorities on the ground were baffled with endless questions and trying to look for information, media reports said.
Hurricane Irma, reportedly the strongest hurricane observed in the Atlantic since Wilma in 2005 in terms of maximum sustained winds, is an extremely strong and catastrophic hurricane,
Satellites from several nations, including Canada were reportedly asked to track the hurricane's progress and measure the damage to provide vital information for recovery efforts and rescue planning.
A global agreement between Emergency officials in the U.S. and the Caribbean had been in place for nearly two decades.
International Charter on Space and Major Disasters (ICSMD) reportedly provides civil protection agencies in disaster-stricken regions and government and private space agencies free access to data gathered by satellites.
ICSMD, is a non-binding agreement accounting for transmission of space satellite data to relief organizations in the event of major disasters.
In the case of Hurricane Irma, officials in Antigua and Barbuda, the Turks & Caicos and Dominican Republic received information from Canada's Radarsat-2 after it passed over the region, official reports said.
Canada's Radarsat-2 reportedly is an Earth observation satellite that was successfully launched December 14, 2007 for the Canadian Space Agency by Starsem, using a Soyuz FG launch vehicle, from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Antigua and Barbuda, known reportedly for reef-lined beaches, rainforests and resort is an independent Commonwealth country situated at the meeting point of the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Turks & Caicos, according to official reports, is an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean, a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas.
Dominican Republic is, the official reports said, a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west.
Canada's Radarsat-2: Courtesy of CSA
Owned by MacDonald, Detwiller and Associates (MDA) and operated, in part, by the Canadian Space Agency, Radarsat reportedly provided Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery which can see through cloud formations and monitor flooding, landslides and destruction brought on by hurricanes and heavy storms.
Canada's Radarsat-2 satellite is Canada's eye in the sky during natural disasters.
"Sometimes having a view from space is a definite advantage. It's instrumental in planning emergency rescues. It provides a global view. It's instrumental in planning emergency rescues," Michel Doyon, manager of flight operations at the Canadian Space Agency was quoted by the media.
The international charter was established in the year 2000 with the Canadian Space Agency, official reports said -- which coordinates all civil, space-related programs on behalf of the Government of Canada -- among its founding members.
Today, space agencies in China, Japan, Germany, the U.S. and several other countries have reportedly signed on.
In May this agreement was activated by Canada, reports said, in response to flooding in Quebec and Ontario.
The charter was invoked 37 times in 2016 and has already surpassed that number this year.
The charter had been reportedly activated yet again, since Hurricane Irma, to monitor the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the devastating earthquake in Mexico City.
This year satellites have been called to monitor forest fires, cyclones and other disasters around the globe.
For emergency officials dealing with disasters, there are other resources available as well. The European Union and European Space Agency operate the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The U.S. space agency, NASA, works closely with charter members but also has its own disaster assistance plan with a fleet of satellites that track storms, map rainfall patterns and conduct detailed radar imagery around the globe, said official reports.
"We are monitoring the planet completely every day for a whole variety of different information," David Green, manager of NASA's disaster program was quoted by the media.
"We make it readily available. It's free and open, all the data and imagery from NASA."
Green said that the charter was a valuable tool and added satellite imagery can play a vital role in planning and responding to disasters.
Often the challenge is turning data collected from space into useful intelligence, continued Green for rescue and recovery workers operating in disaster areas.
"People have very complicated data and imagery, and it means a lot to the science community. But if you ask a disaster manager, they may have a very simple question. They may be asking simply, 'Where's the water? Where's the storm?"
"They don't need a lot of complicated information. They need it distilled down to knowing what to look for," Media quoted Green as saying.
NASA had been working, said Green to translate satellite data more accessible and understandable.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)