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Things Are Good: Canadians: Support the Science Integrity Project

Polling opens for the Canadian election on October 9th with the final day to vote on the 19th. This election, the organization Evidence for Democracy (and many more!) are asking you to vote with science in mind.

The Canadian Conservative party blatantly ignores scientific facts in their policies and this has led to some horrible practices in Canada. The good news is that you can change that this October by voting for knowledge, look into the Science Integrity Project

Our project reflects the collective wisdom of 75 leaders — in science, indigenous knowledge, public policy, civil society, and governance (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Why It is Impossible to Tune a Piano – The Case for Temperament

I’ve read about somewhat arcane nature of piano tuning and the various temperaments used through the ages, but Minute Physics succinctly describes what is going with all the math behind the production of sound.

From Wikipedia:

Many factors cause pianos to go out of tune, particularly atmospheric changes. For instance, changes in humidity will affect the pitch of a piano; high humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect.[1] Changes in temperature can also affect the overall pitch of a piano. In (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Climate Change Deniers

The scientific community is in near unanimous agreement on the issue of human-caused climate change: so much so, that there is not a single serious scientific journal which will now publish a paper denying human-caused climate change, since it is viewed by the scientific community that the debate is over, considering the mountain of evidence […]

Terahertz: The Big Bang Theory is ruining science

When The Big Bang Theory first premiered, I watched it with a lot of hope.

It had science script checkers and sought to bring the nerdy culture of physics into the mainstream. My wife (then girlfriend) and I started watching it while we were both undergrads – me in engineering physics and she in physics. While it’s predominantly male cast and token ditzy blonde was problematic from the start, it was relatable for us and our friends. Even if none of us were a Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, or Howard, we saw bits of each of those characters in each of (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Twelve Minutes on Neuron Stars – PBS Crash Course

Yes, this series is purposefully very user friendly – but it does cover some new stuff – who knew about Magnetars? You will.



Filed under: Science Tagged: Astronomy, Crash Course, Neutron Stars, Science

Things Are Good: Why Science is Important in Democracies

Canada is in the midst of an election, and it’s a close one. The anti-science incumbents have spent a lot of effort muzzling scientists in Canada as they pursue their environment-destroying goals. Why does this matter?

In a democracy it is necessary to have educated debates about issues instead of baseless opinons and flat-out hearsay. Over at the Tyee they took a look at the important role science plays in democratic discourse.

Government scientists occupy a special place in our democracy. They are the only scientists paid specifically to protect the public interest. They are also the only scientists whose (Read more…)

Scripturient: Fortuna: Why Plans Fail

Niccolo Machiavelli used two words in his book, The Prince, to describe the factors that influenced events. In English these are virtue or character (virtu), fortune or chance (fortuna). Only virtue is internal – our nature – and although it manifests as voluntary action, it can only be somewhat, but not entirely controlled.* The other […]

Dead Wild Roses: Correlation and Causation – Things one should know.

Well, it never hurts to reinforce an important concept, especially one that many people miss or gloss over when the argumentative fur starts flying.

Filed under: Education, Science Tagged: Debate, How things work., Science

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice -You’ve Never Seen a Ghost (Holy or otherwise).

The universe is an amazing thing. While you are “sitting still” reading this post, you, me, and everyone else are hurdling through space at an unfathomable speed. This is almost as amazing as the fact that we, for the most part, don’t even notice that we’re doing it. The Earth rotates 1,600km/h at the equator, which goes down to 0 at the poles, for an average of 800km/h across the planet. Our orbit takes us around the sun at 107,000 km/h and our solar system’s orbit around the galaxy has us going about 792,000 km/h. On top of that our solar (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: 3 Simple and 3 Not So Simple Ways to Time Travel – MinutePhysics

I love these vids.

Filed under: Science Tagged: Minute Physics, Science, Time Travel

Dead Wild Roses: Because words matter: Differences Between Sex and Gender

Every once and awhile something good bubbles up from the seething mass known as tumblr. This is a good summary of what sex and gender are and how they interact in our society.


“It seems like on here at tumblr there’s a lot of misinformation going around. people are using sex and gender interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. There’s a lot of unclear information and everything seems rally vague and distorted so the goal of this post is to help clear some of this up.

What are the differences between sex and gender?

The (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Horse Facial Expressions?

More research required, but an interesting video non the less. Plus, what better to appease the rabid horse fans that populate DWR.

Filed under: Science Tagged: Facial Expressions, horses

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Killer Robots By Accident or On Purpose?

It’s There are companies like Lockheed Martin making autonomous killing robots, and there are companies like Google making self-driving cars (which kill people by accident or poor design). At least cars don’t tend to kill on purpose, and the Google self-driving car hasn’t had a deadly accident (or one it caused, of any kind). So, what’s worse? Intentionally creating machines that can destroy humans, or accidentally doing it? Let’s aim at neither.

@dylangallagher People should be worried. I say this as a Computer Science trained person, and a cyborg.

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) July 27, 2015

Many people have seen (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Rivers of Energy – Our Sun

Our cool science video of the day goes to the Space Rip channel on youtube a they have cobbled together some of the latest imagery from our space based solar observatories.

Filed under: Science Tagged: Our Universe, Science, The composition of the Sun, The Sun

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: To Be Left On The Moon

Some of these items found in Armstrong’s closet, were to be abandoned on the surface of the Moon.

More than four decades after the Apollo 11 moon landing, a cloth bag full of souvenirs brought back by astronaut Neil Armstrong has come to light.

Among the trove: a 16 mm movie camera from inside the lunar module that filmed its descent to the moon and Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface in 1969.

That camera “took one of the most significant sets of images in the 20th century,” said Allan Needell, a curator in space history at the National (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Health Canada—another Conservative mouthpiece?

The Conservatives have started early on their advertising campaign for the upcoming election. We are, for example, being told ad nauseam that Justin Trudeau isn’t ready. With their large war chest, the Conservatives can afford to lay it on thick. But they’re not only relying on their own funds, they are also relying on ours. Health Minister Rona Ambrose has announced a rerun of the anti-marijuana

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Paying Back Our Carbon Debt

This is concerning information.

The scariest climate paragraph I've read today:

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) July 13, 2015

So, how do our politicians (in B.C. and elsewhere) deal with the fact that we need to triple the size of our forests by 2050 to have a fair shot at avoiding 2 degree climate change (which will ruin everything)?

BREAKING: @AJWVictoriaBC calls for immediate emergency debate on #climatechange #bcpoli @BCGreens

— Adam Olsen (@AdamPOlsen) July 13, 2015

@chrisalecanada @BCGreens @AJWVictoriaBC Yes – I just started watching now as well – apparently gov & opposition shut (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Women in Science – Marie Tharp

Filed under: Feminism Tagged: Feminism, History, Science, Women

reeves report: Can Elizabeth May Unmuzzle Canada’s Scientists?

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May.

The success rate of private member’s bills in the federal parliament is abysmal. In the 100-plus years since 1910, Ottawa has passed just 271 of them. For comparison, more than 1,600 PMB’s were tabled between 1997 and 2015, and the rate at which they’re being drawn up is on the rise.

It’s not unusual for entire sessions of parliament to hum along without the passage of a single PMB. And when an errant private member’s bill does become law, more often than not the content of the bill is symbolic, proclaiming National Philanthropy Day (November (Read more…)

Terahertz: Libertarian activist puts politics before reality to argue the left puts politics before reality

On the libertarian blog Reason, John Stossel trots out the tired cliche that the left are just as anti-science as the right, and in this case potentially even more damaging. Because non-evidence based views about climate change have no real world consequences right?

He cites the usual tropes as the left-wing anti-science positions, yet fails to actually show any political divide for any of the claims. In fact, public opinion research debunks his two main examples: vaccines and GM. In the US, at least, there is a divide on support for nuclear power and animal research* – but a (Read more…)

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

— 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…)