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Falling out of the sky: the perfect 2020 Christmas Story

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Juliane Koepcke in 2019.  Some of you may not know the story of Juliane Koepcke, a German-Peruvian mammalogist who on Christmas Eve 1971, fell 3.2 km out of the sky - and survived, only to wake up alone, still strapped to her airline seat in the Amazon rainforest where she would spend the next eleven days trying to find civilization.   I only found out about this recently and I think the story rings a certain harmonic note with 2020.   A day after her High School graduation in Lima, Koepcke and her mother, Maria were desperate to spend Christmas with her father, Hans-Wilhlellm, at Panguana - a biological research station and private conservation area extending over 10 square kilometres of forest where he lived and worked. Many of the flights that night were booked as Peruvians (a mainly Roman Catholic nationhood) traveled home for the holidays. But Juilane and her mother managed to find some seats on a Lineas AĆ©reas Nacionales S.A. (LANSA) flight. The airline had a poor reputation and

Transit Hotel reopens this month

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The Transit Hotel is reopening this month to serve take-out. The Smokehouse BBQ menu pays tribute to the area's rich history as Edmonton's Meatpacking District. Photo: Mike Carter Not far from Northlands Coliseum, where the Oilers hoisted Stanley Cups in the '80s, Wayne Gretzky Drive winds its way into Belvedere,   the ‘hood where the team’s famed former owner, Peter Pocklington, ventured some of his capital into the Gainers beef and pork processing plant, once Canada’s second-largest meat-packer. A shiny new building on the right greets you to this part of town.  It looks like it’s wrapped in tinfoil to keep warm before serving. It’s the city’s very silver,  brand new bus depot. On the north side of the Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage stands a giant red brick smokestack, a tall reminder of when this sector of the city - once called Packingtown -  made up Edmonton’s Meatpacking District for the better part of a century. Then one day, that vibrant community was gone. The 40

This year, we cut our own Christmas tree. Here's how you can too

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These days, getting out of the house and into the great outdoors - to a place where there are no other people around - is more in vogue than ever in recent memory. On our way to buy a Christmas tree this year, my girlfriend and I stumbled upon a new way to have some fun winter adventure and get one for free. Here’s how it all went down.   With the Holidays approaching, we decided on a spot in the living room but, once we were ready to find the fir to fill that prime real estate by the TV, we remembered the price tag of last year’s coniferous Christmas timber and did not look forward to forking out that kind of cash once again.   Add to that, the situation of dually having to deal with a Christmas tree shortage throughout North America and higher-than-normal (likely) COVID-driven demand meant we were ready to conclude that we were going to be paying more this year for a lesser quality tree.   We also assumed we’d have to get out there and get one sooner, rather than later. We were right

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This year, we cut our own Christmas tree. Here's how you can too