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Canada’s legal weed laws are now in effect, so it’s a good time to be Canadian

It’s been years in the making, but Canada has finally officially legalized marijuana sales and use for recreational purposes, becoming just the second country on the planet to do so. The new laws, which went into effect overnight, allow adults over the age of 18 to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana for their own personal use, and they can also share it with whoever they want as long as that person is also of age.

Just a handful of retail locations are up and running on day one, though medical marijuana has been approved for sale in Canada for some time. 

The law doesn’t just cover marijuana possession, however, as citizens will now be totally within their rights to grow their own pot for personal use. Individuals can cultivate up to four cannabis plants in their homes if they choose, and use that marijuana for themselves to avoid paying retail prices.

Selling, of course, is being more strictly regulated, and the country has been careful to modify existing intoxication laws to include marijuana intoxication as well. Getting pulled over while high as a kite is still going to land you in some trouble, as it obviously should.

Along with the legalization, Canada plans to revisit a long list of past marijuana possession convictions. The country plans to pardon individuals who were convicted of crimes that would now have been perfectly legal, such as the possession and cultivation of cannabis.

Canada might sound like even more of a wonderland for cannabis fans than it already was, but there are still some very real limitations. You can’t travel from Canada with marijuana on your person or in your luggage. As CNN notes, even if you happen to be headed to a location where marijuana is legal, like Colorado, it’s a no-go.

If things go well in Canada — lots of tax money flowing in, far fewer drug convictions, and a spike in Taco Bell sales — it could serve as an example of how other countries can move forward with their own legalization efforts.

Apple Working With Health Canada to Bring Apple Watch Series 4’s ECG Functionality to Canadian Market

Apple says it is working with Health Canada to bring the Apple Watch Series 4’s all-new ECG functionality to the Canadian market, according to MobileSyrup’s Patrick O’Rourke. No timeframe was specified.

This likely means that Apple has submitted a…

Ticked-off Canadian crabs are waging war on the United States and scientists are powerless to stop them

Canada and the United States usually get along pretty well, and that’s probably because Canadians are just so darn nice. They apologize for everything, they don’t mind bizarre weather, and they’re always looking out for each other. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Canadian crabs, which are some of the most absurdly aggressive marine creatures around, and now they’re moving south.

As the Boston Globe reports, green crabs from Canada are beginning to march down to coast of the United States, and they’re picking fights with anyone who comes near. They’re unpleasant, rude, and might actually push away native species that were getting along just fine on their own.

The crabs are actually the same species that can already be found further south along the coast of Maine, but for some reason they’re a whole lot more aggressive. Rather than simply living their lives in flowing sea grass and eating when they’re hungry, the Canadian crabs take a scorched-Earth approach by chopping down vegetation with their claws and killing any small sea creatures that get in their way.

These angry organisms have been found along Maine on occasion, but it seems they’re pushing farther south than before. In a new survey of crab populations in Maine, the nasty Canadians were spotted at a rate of about one out of every 50 green crabs. A study of the local marine ecosystem and the crabs’ impact on it is being prepared for publishing.

As University of New England researchers Louis Logan explains, we might be powerless to stop them. “It will be an entirely different ball game,” Logan told the Boston Globe. “It’s just a question of when more of the crabs come and out-compete the Maine green crabs. We can’t do anything about it. The only thing that we can do is learn how to live with it.”

Gold miners in Canada discovered a very good boy frozen in time for 50,000 years

Finding the remains of a 50,000-year-old animal is always exciting, but scientists know to temper their expectations. Normally all that’s left of such an old specimen is bone, or sometimes the rough outline of where flesh, fur, or feathers used to be. Gold miners in Canada were treated to a whole lot more when they stumbled upon the nearly perfect frozen remains of an ancient wolf pup.

As Guardian reports, the miners discovered the juvenile canine completely by chance, and what a discovery it turned out to be. Nearly every part of the young wolf seems frozen in time. The skin, while obviously not as springy as it once was, is all there, and much of it is still covered in wisps of fur.

Amazingly, the tiny dog isn’t the only thing that gold miners accidentally unearthed during their search for precious metals. A month prior, the front half of a caribou calf was also found frozen in the ground. While this specimen isn’t as complete as the tiny wolf — just the front legs, head, and half of its body were preserved — it’s still an incredibly lucky find.

The discoveries were actually made back in 2016, and researchers have been working on further preserving the specimens and studying them in the time since. They were revealed to the public last week.

“Yukon has a wealth of fossil bones and mummified carcasses of ice age mammals are rarely unearthed here from the permafrost,” paleontologist Dr. Grant Zazula said in a statement. “Both specimens on display here are species that survived the end of the ice age and are a fundamental part of the Yukon landscape today, and to our knowledge this is the only mummified ice age wolf ever found in the world.”

When searching for animals that died tens of thousands of years ago, scientists never really expect to find skin, hair, and tissue. Such materials decay quite rapidly once an animal has died, but that obviously wasn’t the case here. It’s thought that the climate in which the two creatures lived was both dry and cold, which would have aided in the long-term preservation of the bodies.

For the time being, the specimens will remain in the custody of the Canadian Conservation Institute, and will likely prove to be invaluable for researchers studying the history of the area.

A huge purple ribbon of energy appeared in the sky in 2016, and scientists still don’t know what it was

Auroras — also called “Northern Lights” — are quite stunning. Massive, twisting bands of energy flying high above are always a good reason to look up, but they’re also relatively common the closer you get to the pole. So, when a giant purple snake of light made its appearance over Canada in the summer of 2016 it was interesting, but not mind-blowing.

Nobody really knew what it was, since auroras are typically greenish, light blue, or even white, but everyone just kind of assumed it was a special flavor of the Northern Lights and moved on with their lives. Now, scientists who have been studying the phenomenon say that the purple streak wasn’t an aurora at all. It was something entirely new.

The sighting in 2016 wasn’t the first time that the phenomenon had been spotted. It’s been witnessed by skywatchers for years, and has even earned a nickname from scientists. They call it “STEVE,” which is short for “Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement,” and for a long time it was just thought to be a natural quirk of the auroras that are so typical in areas like northern Canada.

In a new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, scientists explain that the bright purple ribbon of light isn’t actually part of an aurora at all. STEVE isn’t the result of charged particles from the Sun gathering at Earth’s poles, so it’s being created by some other means… but then what is it?

“Our main conclusion is that STEVE is not an aurora,” Bea Gallardo-Lacourt of the University of Calgary, and lead author of the study, explains. “So right now, we know very little about it. And that’s the cool thing, because this has been known by photographers for decades. But for the scientists, it’s completely unknown.”

The “skyglow” that is created by the phenomenon is still poorly understood, and the researchers note that whatever mechanism is creating it in the atmosphere may be entirely new to science. Going forward, the researchers hope to determine what layer of the atmosphere is creating the light, which could help explain how it forms in the first place.