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How do you put out a fire at the very top of CN Tower? Five things to know about the blaze

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What happened?
Toronto Fire Services responded early Wednesday morning to an electrical fire at the very top of the CN Tower. The tower contains electrical wiring, cables and broadcast equipment for radio and TV stations. The wires are contained in metal or plastic tubes that range in size from 3/4 of an inch to six inches in diameter. When firefighters arrived, one of them was melting. 

Who noticed the fire?
A keen-eyed CN Tower employee noticed a warning light come on and sent an electrician to investigate, then called the fire department. A CN engineer went up to shut the power off, and then the firefighters were cleared to go up.

Did the firefighters climb up there?
First, firefighters took an elevator up to the observation deck. Then another elevator to the SkyPod. And no, you’re not supposed to use elevators in a fire, but the CN Tower is different because you’re technically on the outside of the building. From the SkyPod, it was a 100-foot vertical climb up a ladder in a three-foot-wide tube — in firefighting equipment.

How did they put it out?
Firefighters used a C02 extinguisher, which is better than water for putting out electrical fires. The firefighters also couldn’t use their normal breathing apparatus due to the cramped nature of the climb. Instead, they had to affix an air hose to their faces. It ran all the way down the ladder to oxygen canisters on the ground.  

Can I still book my Skywalk?
Firefighters cut out the damaged wiring, and it’s up to the broadcasters who use it to fix it. The incident may still be affecting some media, but the rest of the tower is open as usual for visitors. Toronto Fire Chief Information Officer Stephan Powell said he can’t remember a fire ever breaking out in the CN Tower before. 

• Email: jhauen@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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21 hours ago
Crazy but sounds like they have a plan to deal with situations exactly like this. Hopefully my ATSC TV is still up!
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Worried about PC Financial's move to CIBC? Here's what you need to know

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PC Financial ATM

CIBC and PC Financial are breaking up a 20-year banking marriage and divvying up the assets — news one financial expert says isn't necessarily a good or bad thing for consumers.

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22 hours ago
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More mosquito traps test positive for West Nile virus

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Two mosquito traps in Waterloo Region have tested positive for West Nile virus and a second mosquito finding has tested positive for the virus in Perth County, this time in the west end of St. Marys.
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2 days ago
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Adam’s Wall Hanging Jewelry Box

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My wife had been complaining about how messy her small little jewelry box was and how hard it was to find matching earrings. So I started searching the internet for inspiration. I found that there were several hang on the wall and or over the door models that I thought would be really nice. So I began designing.

I started with the hanging mirror we had on the wall and used that for the dimensions. I then showed my wife several of the designs and asked her to tell me how she would like the inside to be laid out. I wanted the inside to be flexible. So I made shelving holes the entire length. I also made a french cleat system on the door so that the earring holder could be moved or other boxes/accessories could be created if desired. I used maple and finished it with an oil based poly to get the “glow” from the wood. It was a fun project!

The post Adam’s Wall Hanging Jewelry Box appeared first on The Wood Whisperer.

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2 days ago
Neat idea. Almost like a medicine cabinet.
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Don't Be Scammed By Fake, Harmful Eclipse-Viewing Sunglasses. Here's a List of Legit Brands & Sources

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On August 21st the U.S. will experience a rare phenomenon, a nationwide solar eclipse. Because this upcoming one can be seen from the east coast all the way to the west, millions of Americans will view it.

Obviously you cannot stare directly into the sun, even during an eclipse, without doing permanent damage to your eyes. Special sunglasses with solar filters are required. These glasses, covered in an opaque polymer film embedded with carbon powder, are so dark that they admit no light at all unless you're staring into the sun; everything else is pitch black. And despite the fancy material, these glasses aren't expensive, with prices ranging from 99 cents (with paper frames) to $30 (plastic frames).

Unfortunately, as Reuters reports, the market has become flooded with manufacturers selling fakes.

"It's a bunch of unscrupulous people cashing in on the eclipse and putting public safety at risk," said Richard Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
Staring at the sun without proper filtration, even when it is partially obscured by the moon during an eclipse, can damage or destroy photo-receptor cells of the eye's retina, leaving blind spots in a person's field of vision, experts said.

To combat this, the AAS has put together a list of brands and suppliers that they know are legit. "If a supplier isn't listed here, that doesn't mean its products are unsafe — only that we have no knowledge of them or that we haven't convinced ourselves they are safe," the AAS writes.

"Eclipse Glasses" & Handheld Viewers

Solar Viewer Brands

American Paper Optics (Eclipser) / EclipseGlasses.com / 3dglassesonline.com

APM Telescopes (Sunfilter Glasses)*

Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film)* [see note]

Celestron (EclipSmart Glasses & Viewers)

DayStar (Solar Glasses)

Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses)

Lunt Solar Systems (SUNsafe SUNglasses) [see their unique kid-size eclipse glasses]

Meade Instruments (EclipseView Glasses & Viewers)

Rainbow Symphony (Eclipse Shades)

Seymour Solar (Helios Glasses)

Thousand Oaks Optical (Silver-Black Polymer & SolarLite)

TSE 17 (Solar Filter Foil)*

*Based outside the United States.

Astronomy, Science & Optics Vendors

Adorama Camera

Agena AstroProducts

Alpine Astronomical


American Science & Surplus


Astronomers Without Borders

Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Astronomy Magazine / My Science Shop


Astrozap Telescopes & Accessories

B&H Photo Video

Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project

Company Seven

David Chandler Company

Discover Magazine / My Science Shop



Eclipse for a Cause



Explore One

Flinn Scientific


High Point Scientific

Khan Scope Centre

Land Sea & Sky

Lire la Nature & Astronomie Plus

MMI Corporation


Oceanside Photo & Telescope

Online Science Mall

Ontario Telescope & Accessories

Optics Planet

Orange County Telescope

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars

Science City at Union Station

Sky & Telescope Magazine / Shop at Sky

SkyNews Magazine

Space Racers / AugustEclipse.com

Space Update


Steve Spangler Science

The Planetary Society

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes

Retail Chains Where You Can Buy In-Store Only (Not on Their Websites)


Best Buy


Casey's General Store

Circle K

Hobby Town



London Drugs

Love's Travel Stops


McDonald's (Oregon only)

Pilot/Flying J

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.)

Toys "R" Us


Online & Other Vendors

123 Sales



Educational Innovations

Electronic Analyst

Firefly Buys (FFB)

Fred Meyer

Freedom Hill

Mega-Fun Toys

Off the Wall Toys & Gifts

Run to Shop

Skyhawk Ventures

Solar Eclipse Spectacles (paper glasses only)

Soluna/GSM Sales



Your 5 Star General Store


The AAS also reports that NASA, Astronomers Without Borders and some libraries are giving away safe solar eclipse glasses for free. Click here and scroll down for details.

Our thanks to AAS for taking the time to put this list together!

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2 days ago
Play safe!
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The new Tick series is going to be weirder than ever

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Ben Edlund and Griffin Newman discuss their new Tick series with a slightly cracked-out reporter. (video link)

Like its titular superhero, The Tick just won’t die. Ben Edlund began drawing the character back when he worked at a comic book store in the mid-1980s, mostly to make fun of superhero comics. And then The Tick became a comic book. And an animated TV series. And a short-lived live-action series. Now, a new live-action series is about to start streaming on Amazon for a 10-episode season of pure insanity.

If you’ve already seen the pilot episode of The Tick, that’s no surprise—it has been out for almost a year and a half on Amazon. It was part of Amazon Studio's pilot program, where the company determines which pilots will go to series based on popularity. The Tick’s loyal fanbase made it a shoo-in, and it got picked up for a first season with a pretty hefty budget. At San Diego Comic-con this year, Amazon went all-out promoting this latest iteration. Outside the convention center was an enormous "experience" where fans could see sets from the series after watching episode 2 for the first time during a packed panel.

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13 days ago
Only 3 weeks away!
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