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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

A. Picazo: Inoculating Against Science-Denialism

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 →

Terahertz: Arctic Apples highlight absurdity of GM regulations

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…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oceans Rising Faster In Last 100 Years

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.

Dead Wild Roses: What is Angular Momentum – Minute Physics to the Rescue

Physics! Science! Facts! – Entertainment that edifies.

Filed under: Science Tagged: Angular Momentum, Minute Physics, Science

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: National Post Guilty of Defaming Climate Change Scientist

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…)

Dead Wild Roses: Science Video of the Day – Why Hyperventilation Drowns People

You’d think we would have given up on common sense by now…

Filed under: Science Tagged: Fun Facts, hyperventilating, Science

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Eloquence

‘Nuff said.

Filed under: Religion Tagged: Bible, Christianity, DWR Sunday Religious Disservice, Science

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Passive House in Alaska Heated By Sun

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

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…)

Dead Wild Roses: Logic: How to PWN an argument, without getting the RPOJ

If you want to take down somebody else’s argument, a certain familiarity with the nature of intellectual or philosophical (as opposed to playground) argument is required, so that you can construct your own counter-argument. In an intellectual argument, the person putting forth an argument sets out a number of premises (statements of facts), which, when you add them together, at best makes it impossible for their conclusion to be false (deductive argument), or at least makes it much more likely that their conclusion is true (inductive argument).

If you want to show that somebody’s argument is wrongity wrong, there (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Book List Game

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 […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower Says Bigger Is Better, Even Losses? #PowerToGrow

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

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…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Set Walmart and Target Afloat, Please

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…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Harper’s “crazy” Comments

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.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower, How’s That 14 Year Test Going?

Dear SaskPower,

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…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Evolutionary Dead-Ends

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 […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Who Needs Water Anyway?

A delusional remark in a CBC article: “Canada, which has long been criticized for being heavily dependent on shipping natural resources to the rest of the world.” Our Prime Minister, and Saskatchewan’s Premier spend millions, hundreds of millions actually, to tell Canadians and the world how many resources we should be sending elsewhere.

Consider the stat from Gasland II, where about 60% of some wells’ casings are expected to fail within 30 years. Naturally that stat is going to err on the sensational, but even the more conservative ~10% estimates are extremely worrying. “Leaky plumbing on energy (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine – Dr. David Gorski

Orac brings the pain to the masters(?) of woo.

 

Filed under: Media, Medicine, Science Tagged: Alternative Medicine, CAM, Magic, Reiki, Woo

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: NOAA Numbers Manipulated

This is a short essay about why our species can’t have nice things.

A PhD Meteorologist in Florida claims that because October 2003 was hottest since October 2014 by only .01 degrees less, there’s no climate change due to humans spewing ridiculous amounts of carbon into our atmosphere. How did he say this in dog whistle language to climate change deniers:

“How much “hotter” was record October 2014 vs. October 2003? According to NOAA 0.01°C. 14.74°C vs. 14.73°C Public doesn’t know this.”

Well, “the anomalies are provided with respect to the 20th century (1901–2000) average.”

(Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Robocalls from Real Robots

“mmm…buzzz…. click…. This is your friendly….buzzz…. automated calling device…click…hummmm… reminding you that….mmmm….buzzz…..click… there are only three days left to…. zzzzz…. take advantage of the Black Friday sales at…. mmmm…. buzzzz….. your…. zzzz… Collingwood…..insert box store name…. mmmm…buzzz…. click….thank you…” Well, maybe robotic telemarketers won’t sound like the solenoid robots on Roger Ramjet, but within the decade, […]

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Monica Pohlmann interviews Armine Yalnizyan about the undue influence of our corporate overlords in setting public policy: What’s your sense of the state of our democracy?

We have a troubled relationship with our democratic institutions. We need to get over the idea that government is something and someone else. The government is us. The idea that governments are largely useless, that they’re more likely to make a mess than fix things, is exactly what corporations would like us to think. It gives them more freedom to use the enormous power of the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Look Into the Ig Nobel Awards

The Ig Nobel Prize is dedicated to science that makes you laugh then makes you think. It’s a fun and great way to get people engaged in science while exploring questions that sound rather bizarre.

As founder of the Ig Nobel awards, Marc Abrahams explores the world’s most improbable research. In this thought-provoking (and occasionally side-splitting) talk, he tells stories of truly weird science — and makes the case that silliness is critical to boosting public interest in science.