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…)
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.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Colour, Minute Physics, Science
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, […]
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…)
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 […]
“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 […]
“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…)
Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Nye, Religion, Science, The Children
This op-ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on February 10, 2015. There’s an illness sweeping its way across North America, one which has long-troubled the scientific community and baffled even the most seasoned medical expert. This problem isn’t new, but was once considered primarily a threat to underdeveloped nations which have yet to fully reap the benefits of … Continue reading →
Okanagan Specialty Fruits is a small biotech company from central BC. For the past twenty years they have been trying to get their main product to market, jumping regulatory hoop after hoop. All they have been trying to sell is an apple. But their apples are special. They don’t brown like a normal apple when sliced because they have been genetically-engineered to not produce the chemical that in most apples oxidises when exposed to air. Because GM techniques were involved, it took nearly 20 years to finally get USDA approval to grow their apples in the US (Canada is expected (Read more…)
If Greenland ice sheet slipped off tomorrow, sea would quickly FALL in Newfoundland and Scotland, but rise disastrously at South Africa!
— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) February 11, 2015
Here’s a fantastically interesting lecture on the science of sea levels. Some counter-intuitive stuff goes on when an ice sheet melts, because an ocean isn’t a bathtub.
Physics! Science! Facts! – Entertainment that edifies.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Angular Momentum, Minute Physics, Science
It shows the misguided focus of the national Postmedia “tabloid” when they let a star like Mike De Souza go, and hang onto a convicted libeler like Terence Corcoran. Maybe the Post will hire Levant next and bulk up their libeler ranks a little?
I am absolutely thrilled with today's BC Supreme Court judgment in my libel case http://t.co/Wk6h6rPcoa
— Andrew Weaver (@AJWVictoriaBC) February 6, 2015
The defendants include the National Post, a newspaper publishing nationally, Peter Foster, Terence Corcoran, and Kevin Libin, all columnists/journalists who have published articles in the National Post and Gordon Fisher, the publisher of (Read more…)
You’d think we would have given up on common sense by now…
Filed under: Science Tagged: Fun Facts, hyperventilating, Science
Filed under: Religion Tagged: Bible, Christianity, DWR Sunday Religious Disservice, Science
More Canadian homes need to be built like this to survive coming fossil fuel shortages. It certainly saves a lot of money for the homeowner.
Passive House in Alaska using water insulated in a tank as a giant battery for energy.
The world would have forgotten the Saskatchewan house, too, were it not for a quirky German physicist interested in energy-saving buildings. After studying the Saskatchewan house and a handful of similar buildings, Dr. Wolfgang Feist wrote a mathematically precise — and elegantly simple — criterion for designing buildings that require less than a tenth of the energy of (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Scott Sinclair studies the effect of NAFTA on government policies, and finds that it’s been used primarily (and all too frequently) to attack Canadian policy choices: A study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) finds over 70% of all NAFTA investor-state claims since 2005 were brought against the Canadian government and the number of challenges against Canada is rising sharply. From 1995-2005, there were 12 claims against Canada, while in the last ten years there have been 23.
“It appears that the federal government’s strong ideological commitment to (Read more…)
In a recent story titled “Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read,” the eminent astrophysicist listed his top eight book titles – from a Reddit conversation that was going on back in December, 2011. Here are the books he chose back then (check the linked story above […]
As a followup to the Star Phoenix’s article on the hugely expensive, and (public) money losing CCS plant at Estevan, comes word of further cost overruns. The overruns, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, would have been sufficient to buy Regina its Stadium II, outright, fix its pension shortfall, or replace its Waste Water Treatment Plant.
SaskPower has apparently been misleading people by saying we need coal for “baseload” power, when Saskatchewan’s abundant wind source, coupled with Manitoba’s hydro, could safely provide a reliable power supply to homes, schools, etc.
And it appears that viable, cleaner, lower-cost solutions (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Aditya Chakrabortty contrasts the myth of the free market against the reality that massive amounts of public money and other privileges are shoveled toward the corporate sector: Few conceits are more cherished by our political classes than the notion that this is a free-market economy. To the right it is what makes Britain great. For the left it is what they are up against. And for the rich it is what justifies their huge pay packets: after all, they have earned it.
When asked for his view of western civilisation, Gandhi said he (Read more…)
Monty Python was onto something with their sailing financial pirates, I think. “Over 260,000 tons of plastic waste in oceans, study shows“ Why buying dollar store crap will come back to haunt you and your grandchildren:
The scientists have stressed their estimates are “highly conservative, and may be considered minimum.” They only took into account the floating plastic garbage, disregarding the waste found on shores and on the seabed.
Another unaccounted for type of plastic is one that can only be found “within organisms.” Researchers believe that large portions of “microplastics,” less than 5mm in size, could (Read more…)
So, @PMHarper, if oil/gas regulations don’t work at $65 a barrel, at what price are they “uncrazy”? $80? $100?
— David Akin (@davidakin) December 9, 2014
Here’s an impressive takedown of the Prime Minister’s “crazy” comments in the House the other day. Since 2006 he’s promised to regulate oil and gas. Now he admits that would be “crazy”. Harper is nuts, and a liar, and he’s our Prime Minister for another year.
I’m interested in seeing the statistics regarding the electricity generated by the test panels installed on the Saskatchewan Science Centre, in the attached picture, and as mentioned in the below quote from your website a couple years ago.
Solar research: In 2000, we installed a photovoltaic array at the Saskatchewan Science Centre for research purposes. Results showed that the cost savings realized from the solar energy system cannot effectively offset the capital costs for installation. As a result, this technology is better suited to niche applications where connection to the grid is uneconomical or when passive solar enhancement (Read more…)
Some people seem genetically inclined – perhaps I should write doomed? – to believe in nonsense: believe in conspiracy theories, in myths, legends, superstitions and supernatural, in magic, in pseudoscience and pseudomedicine. Nothing – no amount of fact, truth, education, reason or contrary evidence will change their minds. The harder you try to correct them, the […]