Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Dead Wild Roses: Raindrops Should Not Exist – So says Physics

Well that is a sticky wicket if I’ve heard of one. I’ll post the answer video as well, but see if you know before you watch the second part (No peeking!).

And the spoiler…

Filed under: Education, Science Tagged: Just say no to Raindrops, Minute Earth, Minute Physics

Scripturient: Books versus E-readers

Back in February, Naomi Baron wrote a piece called “Reading on-screen versus on paper,” in which she compared the two reading experiences: printed books and e-readers in five areas: Cost Container vs content Environmental impact Quality of screens Concentration Baron actually looks at these as true-or-false questions, not really comparisons. She doesn’t address issues like […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Inexpensive Computer Comes With Expensive Shipping Option Only

When I read about the $9 computer on Crash Bang Labs’ Facebook page, I was ready to help kick start that CHIP. But I got to the payment screen when the shipping amount came up. How much could it cost I’d thought to ship a computer smaller than a couple of AA batteries? I braced myself for an exorbitant $5. If I was American, I’d have that somewhat greedy option. No, the over-popular CHIP computer (shipping next year) comes to Canada and most of the world for $20US (19% more than CAD right now)! It’s literally twice as expensive to (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s the muzzling of Canada’s federal scientists assailed

This week, Canada’s three major public sector unions protested the Harper government’s continuing muzzling of the country’s federal scientists.

The post Harper’s the muzzling of Canada’s federal scientists assailed appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: This Isn’t Going To Work #skpoli

.@laurengolosky Why isn't the Environment Minister up to speed on #climatechange? It's basic knowledge for Environment portfolio. #skpoli

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) May 21, 2015

It’s 2015, and the entire effing cabinet should understand perfectly that climate change is a serious economic and environmental problem that’s overdue to be tackled.

New SK environment minister Herb Cox takes his oath of office. #skpoli pic.twitter.com/gpjtYlY5GA

— Karen Briere (@kjbriere) May 21, 2015

I honestly didn’t know who the Environment Minister was before this shuffle, and from Cox’s early comment it sounds like I needn’t bother still.

Yay, MLA Herb (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: How to Subtract by Adding – Minute Physics

Damn, and you think that Math would be straightforward. I’m contemplating throwing this at students when I get to sub in for a Math teacher – I can’t wait.

Filed under: Education, Science Tagged: Adding by Subtracting, Minute Physics

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Worm Turns

This morning when I was doing my regular news search online, I came across two stories that stopped me cold: we’re being invaded. By worms. Yep. Worms. Not the slimy invertebrates who write scurrilous, defamatory self-aggrandizing blogs and whine about free speech when they are taken to court over their lies, but actual earthworms. Nightcrawlers. The […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Baseload Mistake

One of the hangups some of my friends have about converting the electrical grid to renewable energy, has been the difficulty in storing electricity generated for use when energy input is reduced. Tesla Energy should help with that logistical problem.

Energy storage no longer an excuse. Did Tesla just spur a tipping point for mass renewable adoption? http://t.co/ZjGb0v7wKU

— Build SK Green (@BuildSKGreen) May 1, 2015

In the meantime, we’re dealing with homes, power grids, and even an economy that cannot easily survive even short interruptions of constant energy input. That has to change to make our way of (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Oh Wow – Let’s Not Believe “Spirit Science”

Cool Hard Logic proves that the religious do not have the monopoly on bullshite. The New Age woo-meisters are going hard on astrophysics and thus, it is necessary slap down them down hard. CHL admirably rises to the challenge.

All I can say is “ouch”.

 

Filed under: Science Tagged: Cool Hard Logic, Science, The Galaxy of Lies

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canada’s Oily Media

There are opportunities to support journalism in Canada that doesn’t take millions from the oil industry and the oil-soaked Conservative government.

Had you heard that the Conservative Party communicated with Enbridge, in secret, through Mike Duffy? If you don’t watch independent journalism online, you might miss important news like that.

The National/Vancounver Observer and CanadaLand are two independent media outlets in our country who can tell you the real story, because their funding doesn’t come from CAPP/Enbridge, and the Conservative government.

Think also about how Mike De Souza was laid off from Postmedia, after his reporting on the oil (Read more…)

A Grumpy Hobbit: And I Am Back

It has been years since I blogged, I have been generally been using FaceBook and the twitters, but I have been finding that these are limited and I need a more organized approached to keep things,… well organized. So I talked to Scott at the Progressive Bloggers about rejoining again and he was “Hey no problem”. I was hoping that I would have a WordPress blog set up, but money is

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: 2020 Solar Power for 100% of Saskatchewan Homes Possible

This letter appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Saturday.

In response to Kurt Soucy’s letter about the cost of powering the entire provincial grid with Photovoltaic (PV) solar power, I’d like to voice my support for his idea. It’s also possible to power every Saskatchewan household with concentrated solar thermal power plants similar to what’s already operating in California at Ivanpah. We’d need only three of those plants, and with a modification to their design, the solar power would be available into the night, using heat storage.

Mr. Soucy’s solar PV idea is sound also, and by aiming at (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: How Big is the Sun – Minute Physics

Take the advice and do watch in full screen if you can.

Filed under: Science Tagged: How Big is the Sun, Minute Physics, Science

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Forcing An Athiest to Practice Religion

Here’s what it can feel like to practice religion when you don’t believe in the common fantasy [AKA faith].

I knew from a young age that I didn’t see religion as a literal interpretation of moral code sent from God, but rather a human construct of what we (those writing holy books) wanted or imagined it to be. Being commanded to participate for years after in routine rituals is boring and felt like a giant waste of time/effort. The only consolation was that it was still time spent with family, and friends in the community sharing snacks and meals, (and (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Pompeii: Swords-and-Sandals Flop

As a film setting, the town of Pompeii in the first century CE is a lot like the deck of the Titanic in 1912: no amount of special effects or clever script writing is going to save it from the disaster awaiting. As a film, Pompeii has a lot of the former, but precious little of […]

Terahertz: Lunney unleashed

Citing media “intolerance and bigotry”, anti-science Canadian MP James Lunney has quit the government caucus to sit as an independent. Among Lunney’s claim to the crown as Canada’s least scientifically literate MP are:

He doesn’t believe in evolution He’s a chiropractor He’s claimed there’s a link between vaccines and autism He doesn’t believe the climate is changing

In his surreal press release (dated March 31, not April 1), he states that he will address his religious beliefs in Parliament at his next opportunity, which sounds like it will be a hoot. Lunney claims that Christians are being persecuted in Canada, (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Bubble Burst – The Physics of Space Battle

Star Wars Episode III had some great moments, the Battle of Corsucant is one of them. John Williams expertly set the scene, the base drum setting the martial tone early.

Thank you Star Wars for a dramatic rendition of what space battle might be like. Unfortunately, it resembles nothing of what it would actually be like.

Sadly Battle Star Galactica is closer, but ultimately in the same boat. Aw Frack. :/ Okay Science…do your worst.

 

Filed under: Science Tagged: damn you physics, Space Battle, Star Wars

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Bubble Burst – The Physics of Space Battle

Terahertz: Got DNA evidence of Bigfoot? Don’t peer review, write a book!

Science Editor Jonathan Leake skewered Bryan Sykes in The Sunday Times today [paywalled] over bigfoot claims. Sykes is publishing a new book in which he’ll present the DNA evidence he claims to have for the existence of yetis and bigfoot. This claim comes despite the lack of any good photographic evidence in the era of cameras in everyone’s pockets.

Sykes previously hosted The Bigfoot Files on the UK’s Channel 4. Leake has some sharp comments on Sykes’ credibility:

Bryan Sykes, who describes himself as a ‘professor of human genetics at Oxford’…

Sykes has not published any research on these creatures…

Sykes (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Computer Colour is Broken – Minute Physics

Given that computers are excellent at computation, one would think that we’d let them do a little bit of extra work to make colour blending look good.

Apparently not.

Filed under: Science Tagged: Colour, Minute Physics, Science

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Canadian Ambivalence Towards Religion

A new Angus Reid poll underscores the changing, ambivalent nature of Canadian attitudes towards religion, but there are many things about the poll that concern me and make me question its methodology and whether an inherent bias influenced the results. First of all, what is “religion”? That may seem obvious, but there are conflicting definitions, […]

Terahertz: Edmonton Journal grants space to debunked anti-WiFi conspiracies

Some parents in Alberta are trying to get schools to ban wi-fi on baseless fears and scare-mongering. The kicker: these same parents are fine with wifi in their house. 

It’s not so much the parents who bother me in this story as the Canadian Teachers Federation, the local school councils, and particularlu the Edmonton Journal who all give far greater space to these conspiracy theories than to sound science and expertise.

Out of the 17 paragraphs in her article, journalist Andrea Sands gives just two for a response from Health Canada. She even repeats tired arguments that the World (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Lucy and the 10% Brain Myth

We watched the film Lucy on iTunes last night and, while reasonably entertaining, its plot is founded on a persistent bit of pseudoscience: that people only use 10% of their brain capacity. It’s so widespread a myth that Wikipedia has a page on it that opens: The 10 percent of the brain myth is the widely perpetuated […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: It’s Official: Homeopathy is Bunk

“Homeopathy not effective for treating any condition, Australian report finds,” reads a headline in The Guardian this week. Well, that’s hardly news. But it repeats saying anyway. It’s a story about the latest in a series of studies that again and again debunk homeopathy as a treatment and conclude it is useless. Australia’s National Health and […]

The Disaffected Lib: Oh, This Is Rich. Stephen Harper Wants Us to Listen to Scientists.

“get the facts from the …scientific community, and if you’re not a …scientist yourself, listen to the people who are. It’s that simple.” You heard it right, straight from the lips of Stephen Joseph Harper.  Get the facts from the scientific community and, if you’re not a scientist yourself, listen to the people who are.  Who could argue with that sort of logic except, of course, the man who said it, Stephen Harper. Memo to Steve:  There are many, many scientists who would dearly love to give you oodles of facts so why aren’t you listening to them? (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Bill Nye – He Does Think of the Children

 

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Nye, Religion, Science, The Children