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Bart B. Van Bockstaele

Digital Journalist based in Toronto, Canada. Joined on Mar 24, 2007

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Hochfest for reptile and amphibian enthusiasts at Toronto Zoo Special

Toronto Zoo is the central hub for nature conservancy in Ontario. On Saturday, 3 November, the Zoo invited people who are active in its Turtle Tally and FrogWatch programmes for a day of fellowship and information.

Mitt Romney — Iran's way to the sea is Syria. On what planet?

During the 3rd presidential debate on Monday, 22 October 2012, Mitt Romney told the viewers that Syria is Iran's way to the sea. That claim is wrong.

Op-Ed: Mitt Romney's 'binders full of women' were not what he claims

Mitt Romney's story about "binders full of women" has had quite an impact on the Internet. There is a slight problem with it however: it is not true.

Op-Ed: Shocking display demonstrates runners' nasty side Special

Last Saturday, A Midsummer Night's Run was held in Toronto. It passed through Tommy Thompson Park, a unique urban wilderness and nature sanctuary. Runners provided a sad and shameful display of disrespect for the beautiful surroundings.

13th Annual International Migratory Bird Day at Toronto Zoo Special

Toronto - Toronto Zoo held its 13th International Migratory Bird Day last Saturday, 12 May 2012. As has become something of a tradition, I joined the party by tagging along on the birding walk in the closed-off sections of the zoo.

Injured beaver recovers in Toronto Special

Toronto - Nature may often seem idyllic, but it also has its cruel sides as demonstrated by this injured beaver, struggling to overcome its injuries at Toronto's Tommy Thompson Park.

Coyotes in the city Special

Toronto - Although coyotes or prairie wolves are known to live and breed in cities, they are rarely seen on the streets of Toronto. However, such encounters are possible, and I came almost nose-to-nose with one.

Op-Ed: Maher — Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position

While poking fun at religion on his television programme, Bill Maher explains that there is something wrong with the religionist's claim that evidence-based belief is somehow equivalent to evidence-free belief.

Op-Ed: Are you a Christian?

Most Americans claim they are, but are they? There are numberless Christian sects all over the world. They all differ in what they consider Christian but one (almost) universally celebrated story presents us with an uncomfortable truth.

Review: MS Wars — Hope, Science and the Internet

Last Thursday, the CBC aired the documentary MS Wars: Hope, Science and the Internet in the CBC's "The Nature of Things" series. This is a well-balanced documentary that presents all aspects in a fair manner. It is highly recommended.

Photo essay: Peregrine falcon spotted in Toronto park Special

Toronto - The peregrine falcon was almost extinct mere decades ago. It is now still an endangered species and a very rare sight for most of us. A young peregrine falcon was recently spotted at Toronto's Tommy Thompson Park.

Photo essay: Are beavers recolonising Toronto's Lower Don River? Special

Toronto - The Lower Don River was once one of the most polluted rivers in North America. The situation is improving, however. A beaver, seemingly happily doing beaver business, was discovered in the southern part of the river.

Op-Ed: Have a Merry unChristmas at Toronto Eaton Centre Special

Toronto - With Christmas approaching fast, I went to have a look at the brand-new Christmas decorations at the world-famous Toronto Eaton Centre. What I found was surprising, and disappointing.

Speed bumps installed at Toronto's Tommy Thompson Park Special

Toronto - Cyclists who came to Tommy Thompson Park this weekend were in for a surprise. The long-promised speed bumps have been installed and are ready for business. Zipping through the park at unparkly speeds has become quite a bit harder than it used to be.

Photo special: African penguins at Toronto Zoo Special

Toronto - African penguins are the newest exhibit at Toronto Zoo. I watched them being fed, while they were swimming at the surface and also through the under-water viewing windows.

Toronto Zoo celebrates 5th Adopt-A-Pond appreciation day Special

Toronto - Toronto Zoo is not only a zoo, it is also one of Ontario's main sources of knowledge for nature conservancy activities. Last Saturday, Toronto Zoo hosted its fifth yearly event for people participating in the Adopt-A-Pond programme.

Muskrats are alive and well in Toronto Special

Toronto - When an animal is rarely or never seen or heard, it is easy to think that it is rare. This is often the case, but not always so. The muskrat is a good example. These animals are rarely seen, but they are abundant. Even in Toronto.

Lake Ontario waves pounding Tommy Thompson Park Special

Since Toronto is well-protected from the violence of Lake Ontario by the islands in the bay and by Tommy Thompson Park, the Lake seems quite calm from downtown. However, this is quite deceptive.

Frost returns to Toronto Special

The weather in Toronto was gorgeous this morning. It was sunny and wind-still, but there was also a sign of things just around the corner: rime and frost. I took pictures of a beautiful sunrise, and a glowing Tommy Thompson Park.

Op-Ed: Massacre on Toronto's roads in progress Special

Toronto - At this very moment, numberless snakes are being killed on the roads of Toronto and the Toronto area. I look at how big the problem is and plead for more awareness and more care.
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