Strong congressional oversight means asking direct questions & getting straight answers. 1.usa.gov/1a0EIY3— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) June 11, 2013
Encrypt your shit:
Spooky reading after #Snowden: Julian #Assange's call to take up arms against the surveillance state | Cypherpunks cryptome.org/2012/12/assang…— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 11, 2013
The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator (Read more…)
I found a new way to appreciate my home town through the eyes of astronomers this weekend. Also, I used the astronomers’ telescopes, which is a great way to look from their perspective on the universe. Wood Mountain is the gateway to the East Block of the Grasslands National Park which is designated as a Dark Sky Preserve. The Park and the RASC Regina branch had Peter McMahon from SkyNews Magazine come out to check out the park and give a presentation.
As the presentation ended, uncommon noctilucent clouds lit up on the northern horizon, illuminated by the set Sun.
. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Dark Sky Preserve at Wood Mountain
Creationism (and it’s dressed-up-in-drag younger brother, “intelligent” design) is the black mold of education. It’s an insidious infection of the mind, an intellectual parasite. And like real-life black mold, it creates a toxic environment – for learning and critical thinking. … Continue reading →
Wave-particle duality is just one on a huge list of phenomena that we cannot intuitively understand. 1veritasium does a nice job of walking us through the steps and sharing the science behind the experiment.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Double Slit Experiment, Science
If we pass the point of no return, we will have runaway global warming and the end point is human extinction. I don’t think people quite get that yet.
I know many who don’t take the issue of civilization’s survivability very seriously. Most of my peers have grown up hearing that climate change is happening, and we need to do something about it, but we assumed the older generations were doing something. Turns out, the problem is much worse today than in 1990, and we’ve spent the majority of our lives hearing that it’s been worked on. The efforts to (Read more…)
Oh BEDMASS my reliable guide, you were actually lying to me all this time.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Betrayed!, Humour, Math Literacy, Order of Operations
In the Confessions of a Science Librarian blog, John Dupuy writes about the Harper Conservatives’ war against science. He’s logged and linked activities from 2006 to 2013 that show how the Conservatives have muzzled, cut budgets, and otherwise attacked Canada’s scientific research programs. The article is good, the situation is awful. But one area that is a little misleading is the article’s title, it’s not a Canadian war on science but Harper’s Conservatives’ war on science. Most Canadians, if you follow the party vo … Continue Reading →
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Pat Steenberg observes that the Harper Cons’ deficits are the result of conscious choices to reduce government revenue – and that we can fix our deficit and rein in inequality at the same time by reversing the damage: (W)hen our governments say they can no longer afford something, what they are really saying is that “we” cannot afford it. But is this really the case?
Canada’s average GDP per capita — the value of total productive output divided by the population that produced it — has continued to grow, with a few minor (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.
- Yes, there’s plenty more on the Cons’ Senate scandal, with Tim Harper headlining the latest discussion: Mike Duffy is radioactive.
The one-time Conservative cheerleader is now the poster boy for the filth which envelops the party brand.
The man holed up on Friendly Lane in Cavendish, P.E.I., has brought down one of the most powerful men in Canada, shaken the Stephen Harper government to its core and blown a hole in the confidence the increasingly skeptical Conservative base has in the party.…Wright says he acted on his own, but (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Justin Ling writes that the Cons’ aversion to accountability isn’t limited to their own government, as they’re one of the few holdouts against transparency in resource-sector reporting of payments to governments abroad.
- Meanwhile, Stuart Trew discusses an international citizens’ initiative to keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership from imposing harmful copyright rules: A coalition website, launched this week as a 17th round of TPP negotiations gets underway in Lima, Peru, calls on TPP negotiators to “reject copyright proposals that restrict open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and fundamental rights.” The website (Read more…)
The following stories are ^not related.
Canadians increasingly cynical about state of democracy: Hepburn Voters are losing trust in the way Canada’s democracy works.
Living in the Age of Dumbness By Janice Kennedy, Ottawa Citizen
Right now, at least in North America, human civilization seems to be wallowing hip-deep in an Age of Determined Dumbness.
It’s depressing, and ironic. No other civilization has ever been as educated, informed and technologically advanced as ours.
Even in that article, there’s nary a mention of climate change or pollution to help make that point. There’s not a dumber fact of life (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Duncan Cameron is the latest to weigh in on the Cons’ distorted sense of priorities in directing public research money toward private profits: Publicly available research is important. Since no one knows where discoveries or advances in knowledge will lead, the entire scientific community needs access to new research. There is no other way to maximize potential societal benefits. Learning is cumulative, innovative thinking flows from research building on public research.
Now with the privatization of research findings, discoveries and knowledge become industrial secrets, unavailable to Canadians who have paid for it, (Read more…)
This happened in February of this year on Lake Michigan.
“Weighing in at up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms) each, the ice spheres are a winter weather phenomenon resulting from wind and wave action along the shore, according to reporting by NASA‘s Earth Science Picture of the Day. Small fragments of floating ice act like seeds, with layers upon layers of supercooled lake water freezing around them as the balls churn in the waves. Wind then pushes the ice concretions onshore.”
I sometimes complain about the landlocked status of my home here in Alberta, then I see stuff (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Karl Nerenberg reports on the House Finance Committee’s hearings into income inequality in Canada, featuring a few familiar themes which we should hear far more often from our policy-makers: “I would make all tax credits refundable, including the current non-refundable ones,” Boadway recommended, and then went further, “I would condition many of them to income, the way we condition the GST credit. I would enhance disability tax credits and make them available to all provincial disability recipients.”
On tax breaks for upper income Canadians and corporations, Boadway prescribed tough medicine: “I (Read more…)
Health Canada has allowed an increasing number of useless “alternative” healthcare (alternative TO healthcare in most cases) products to be sold in Canada over the last decade, despite the lack of proper (or in some cases, any) research data to … Continue reading →
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for popular astronomy shows. How amazingly small and insignificant our place is in the Universe is always humbles me when I am reminded of the fact. It is a humility I wish the religious minded among us could understand, instead of wasting time and energy faffing away on their sky daddies and magic books.
Anyhow, here is a 24 minute exploration of the cosmic phenomenon known as black holes, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“Our Milky Way may harbor millions of black holes… the ultra (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Armine Yalnizyan makes the case as to why wealth equates to far too much power in Canada: The problem is not that the wealthy are too powerful. The problem is that, with rare exception, as their power has increased, it has not been matched by an increase in their sense of responsibility. On the contrary, the wealthy have been using their power for decades to reduce their responsibilities to anyone but themselves.
The litany, en bref: Taxes are too high. Governments are too big. There are too many rules. Workers feel way too (Read more…)
This week twelve climate scientists and energy experts penned a letter to Canada’s Natural Resources (aka “Oil”) Minister, Joe Oliver, to express their concern about his ongoing support for building new pipelines and expanding fossil fuel production in face of the threat of climate change. Mr. Oliver was an international banker before he was elected […]
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- George Monbiot writes about the absurdity of the right-wing choice to promote inequality in the name of competition among the wealthy when the ultimate results are worse for everybody: The capture by the executive class of so much wealth performs no useful function. What the very rich appear to value is relative income. If executives were all paid 5% of current levels, the competition between them (a questionable virtue anyway) would be no less fierce. As the immensely rich HL Hunt commented several decades ago: “Money is just a way of keeping score.”
The more I learn about Quantum Mechanics the more interested I become. The counter-intuitive nature of how the fundamental particles operate requires reliance on the scientific method, there is no other way that we could be making these discoveries (I’m looking at you religion). Enjoy learning about how empty space is actually far from empty.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Empty Space?, Quantum Mechanics, Science
I always have a number of long-term projects in my head. Reaching out via different mediums is one of them, and practice speaking and editing is always important for me.
To accomplish this I’ve started an intermittent video blog/podcast supplement to this blog. Only two episodes are up so far – the first on Fusion: Hot and Cold and the second on GMO Labelling – and it’s only available through YouTube for now (I may look into the technical aspects of how to iTunes it next week). You can subscribe to the RSS feed here or follow the YouTube playlist (Read more…)
The people over at the numberphile channel have a knack for explaining interesting mathematical concepts and this is one of the better explanations of what some of Zeno’s Paradoxes are and how we “solve” them.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Math, Numberphile, Science