Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Radiant Rivers Photo Contest and World Rivers Day

Your friendly NSE blogger is also a kayak instructor and owner of Coldspring Paddling Instruction.  Coldspring Paddling Instruction is helping the Saskatchewan Environmental Society to celebrate World Rivers Day by contributing a gift certificate for an Introduction to Sea Kayaking lesson as a first prize for their Radiant Rivers Photography contest.  I'm probably disqualified, but Chief Photographer Rob should have a good shot at it and in a week and a half we'll be on the water somewhere (yet to be determined!) giving the opportunity to capture some award winning photos.

The following is information from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society about the day and the contest.

World Rivers Day – September 25, 2011
For more information about any of these events, contact, call 306.665.1915 or visit

Radiant River Photography Contest – rivers all over Saskatchewan
In celebration of World Rivers Day September 25th, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society presents the Radiant Rivers Photography Contest to highlight the beauty of Saskatchewan’s rivers.  The photos must fit one of the three categories (action, tranquil, and sustainable). Participants must name the river featured in their photo and describe why water is valuable to them and what they do to protect water.  All winning entries will be displayed as a travelling photo exhibit at locations around the province and will win fabulous prizes, including three outdoor adventure packages as first place prizes. Entries can be emailed to on or before September 26th at midnight and winners will be announced the following week.  For rules and regulations, please visit our website by clicking here. A big thanks to our sponsors: Sturgeon River Ranch, Coldspring Paddling, Phase 2 Foto source, Outter Limits, and Mister Print.

The following are Saskatoon-based events:

Park Clean Up – 9am Rotary Park
SES is joining Trash Dashers Saskatoon and the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up to pick up trash at Rotary Park in Saskatoon in celebration of World Rivers Day. Bags and gloves will be provided, so all you have to do is show up to help us keep our river valley clean and healthy.  We will meet at the peace torch in Rotary Park at 9am, September 25th. See you there!

Nature Walk and Photo Walk – 1pm Peturrson’s Ravine
SES is hosting a nature walk with the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan along Peturrson's Ravine in Saskatoon. This river-side location was chosen to celebrate World River Day on September 25th.  If you are a photo-enthusiast, we also encourage you to bring your camera along to capture some of our river valley's natural beauty.
We will meet in the parking lot, just north of the Regional Psychiatric Centre on Central Avenue at 1pm, Sept 25th.

Blue Drinks – 6pm Winston’s
Blue Drinks is like Green Drinks, in that it is an opportunity for environmentalists to meet up, make connections, and talk about environmental issues, but on September 25th, the discussion will be all about water in celebration of World Rivers Day.  This pub-based discussion group is an informal, relaxed atmosphere, so come on out and talk about your local water issues!
We will be meeting at Winston’s Pub at 6pm in Saskatoon.

Now That's The Way to Cook!

I recently came across this on the West Cost Paddler forum and I think that it's the cat's ass!

It's a battery powered rotisserie!

Photo used with permission.
Brilliant.  If a kayaker can find room in his hatches for this, I'm sure we can find some room in the canoe to add it to our kit. It can't weigh nearly as much as the hot tub did!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NSE and the Dunning Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a phenomenon whereby the unskilled don't know enough to know that they are idiots and bad decisions ensue.

I can't remember where I was going with that but for some reason I thought of NSE when I learned today about the theory (though I had been aware of the actual effect for some years). The following is quoted from Wikipedia:
Kruger and Dunning noted ... that ignorance of standards of performance is behind a great deal of incompetence. This pattern was seen in studies of skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis.
Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

As we paddle and trip, we all hopefully move from ignorance to enlightenment. We learn that there is much we don't know, and as the skill level improves, so does the decision making. Unfortunately we have to make a few dumb mistakes before it hits home that we need to learn to do things better. Northstar Expeditions has avoided too many dumb mistakes as a group, and we have twice now taken lessons as a group to improve our skillset. I'm sure there will be dumb mistakes in the future and hopefully we are sufficiently enlightened to recognise and learn from them.