Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Right to Choose

I understand gender identity and sexual orientation both as potentially fluid. It’s not the case that they can be made to change, so we still need to ban straightenating camps and the like, but that they can sometimes evolve over time. Or, if they’re … . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Right to Choose

The Disaffected Lib: The Cult of Living Large

2015, we’re told, is the year the developed world (that’s us) and the emerging economies (China, India, etc., etc., etc.) will close ranks to formulate an effective plan of action to fight climate change.  It’s going to be Kyoto on steroids, a true hallelujah moment, a meeting of minds, a global joining of hands, a flexing of collective muscle and sinew.

Yeah, right.

2015 is probably our final chance to reach some sort of meaningful, global consensus.  In case you haven’t noticed we’re already being overtaken by climate change impacts, and this is the ‘early (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Coming Soon – 3-Billion More "Big Mouths" to Feed

The world’s middle class is on the verge of a population explosion.   Sorry, Earth.  Of the 7+ billion people on the planet today, about 1.8-billion are considered middle-class or make that consumer class.  By 2030 that sub-2 billion is expected to burgeon to just under 5-billion strong, churning away on their computers to order crap from Amazon.

Middle-class consumers will increase to 4.8 billion by 2030 and 95 per cent of them will be from developing countries, said United Kingdom Foreign Secretary’s special representative on climate change, Prof Sir David King.

He said, currently the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: I Believe the Children Are Our Future: Barf

Faisal and Azeem, getting it done!

Platitudes and paternalism aside, the 21st century actually does belong to the young. And not that they’re OUR future, like an extension of us, but that we are stewarding the future for them.

And we’re doing a pretty horrible job of it. But since we’re not idiots, we should be able to try on a new hat and leave a legacy we won’t be so ashamed of. Here’s how.

I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but they’re figuring it out at least a little bit [see below] by spotting that there is a (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Children, health and the medical fools who focus on BMI

Who are these fools that believe it’s okay to measure a child’s BMI (Body Mass Index), label them as overweight and decide to call it a day because they think they taught someone about health? “[A] paper published today by the American Academy of Pediatrics argues that weighing and measuring the height of schoolchildren and sending letters …

Politics, Re-Spun: Is It Really That Hard to Imagine Cities Without Cars?

A blissful infographic of imaginative paradigm mechanics!

Probably. That’s why really creative paradigm mechanics are thinking outside the box-y sedans to figure out how we could reorient cities and movement in cities with a changed premise: no cars.

Imagine how much parking space we’d free up for human pursuits?

Imagine how much climate change aggravation we could minimize?

Imagine if we had enough transit to make cars in cities unnecessary?

Shuffle City looks at the new possibilities that could arise from cities transitioning away from cars with drivers to cars without drivers.

If cars were put into some constant flow (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway

Who Framed Roger Rabbit reminded us all of the Great American Streetcar Scandal: cars over mass transit. Now, in the lower mainland we have the UBC tunnel over light rail to the valley.

This week, we start with a transportation spin alert.

Last week, Allen Garr wrote an interesting piece about the seemingly obvious idea of running a Skytrain subway to UBC [see below]. One possibly contentious issue would be whether it would be bored or made with the disastrous cut-and-cover debacle that broke Cambie Street, and its socio-economic fabric, for so long.

But I think there is (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Teens and 40s #nlpoli

As the last instalment in our survey of birth rates, let’s take a look at the group 15 to 19 and the other end of the scale for statistics, women aged 40-44 at the time of the child’s birth.

The blue line is the number of births to mothers between ages 15 and 19.  From 810 births in 1991 down to 321 in 2010.  Note, though that the low point on the blue line is 2005 at 254.  Since then the number of births to mothers between 15 and 19 has risen steadily.  The rate is

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Teens and 40s #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The 30-Somethings #nlpoli

The number of babies born to mothers in their 30s in Newfoundland and Labrador has declined over the past couple of decades.  But the drop isn’t as dramatic as the decline among the 20-somethings.

What stands out in this chart is the way the older age cohort – 35-39 – hasn’t declined as dramatically as the younger ones.  The 30-34s basically match the 20-somethings, dropping from about 25,000 to around 15,000.  But the older group actually peaked in 1993 but only declined by about 7,000 births per year


The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The 20-Something Birth Rates #nlpoli

As we told you a couple of weeks ago, it doesn’t look like the provincial government’s policy of paying cash for live births produced any improvement in the birthrate in the province except for the year they announced the bonus cash.

If you look at the number of births by the mother’s age the lack of effect is more obvious than the gross numbers.

Let’s start with the 20s, an age range when we might expect women would start having babies.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The 20-Something Birth Rates #nlpoli

Politics, Re-Spun: Encouraging Early Political Engagement: I Have the Right to Be a Child


Early political engagement is a hot button topic for a number of us here at Politics ReSpun. As parents and/or political animals, we spend a lot of time contemplating methods of public engagement that would draw youth into political culture, and foster both interest and comprehension of sociopolitical events. Apathy and disinterest are rampant in our culture, and the prevailing trend of co-mingling pop culture and celebrity in corporate controlled news media is daunting.

Is political engagement and activism a product of nature or nurture?

Are those of us who prefer to spend our afternoons yelling at CPAC or

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Encouraging Early Political Engagement: I Have the Right to Be a Child

Things Are Good: USA Urban Population Growth Outpaces the Suburbs

Regular readers know that in the modern world an urban lifestyle is more sustainable than a suburban lifestyle so it’s pretty good news to see that more people in the USA are moving into urban centres. America is where the suburbs started and have had the largest cultural impact and seeing a transition away from unsustainable suburban living in America is definitely a good thing!

Even among those who are buying homes rather than renting, there is a strong preference now for close-in locations, where sales prices driven by demand have increased while those in outer suburbs have plummeted. Where

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: USA Urban Population Growth Outpaces the Suburbs