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Blog Flog: Bacon Double Cheese Peroghies

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Julie

Peroghies are a prairie staple – these little dumplings have been feeding families affordably for generations, and are the epitome of comfort food around our house. W recently pointed out that most peroghies are more potato than cheese, and nowhere near as cheesy as they could be. I can see his point – unlike other dumplings, peroghies tend to be more starchy and potato-heavy, when in fact the potato should act more as a carrier for other ingredients. I sometimes transform leftover roasted chicken, gravy and potatoes into peroghies, but it’s cheese that goes best with the bacon and onions (which, let’s face it, are the best part), and so I set to making a batch of extra cheesy peroghies using chunks of the Alexis de Portneuf cheeses currently residing in our fridge. The beauty of a peroghy is that you can add just about anything to the filling – it’s a great way to use up the last of the cheese ends. I generallyContinue reading

The post Blog Flog: Bacon Double Cheese Peroghies appeared first on Dinner With Julie.

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Why Do Gay Men Love Britney Spears?

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Britney’s most ardent fan base—gay men—speak to the idol’s enduring appeal.

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Pennsylvania Environmentalists Cite “Irreparable Harm” in Bid to Halt Mariner East 2 Gas Pipeline

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous
A woman looks out on fracking activities in Pennsylvania

Soon after the Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline received the green light from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), three environmental groups appealed to stop construction pending further review. The groups claimed the pipeline construction activities, including tree cutting and horizontal drilling, could cause “irreparable harm” to landowners and the watershed along the project route. 

Last Friday Judge Bernard Labuskes of the state’s Environmental Hearing Board denied the request of the Clean Air Council, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Mountain Watershed Association to issue a temporary stay preventing Philadelphia-based Sunoco Logistics from starting construction.

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Drugs

Meet the Pharmaceutical Hacker Trying to Make Open-Source Drugs

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

He’s already released plans for a $30 version of the EpiPen and the outline​ for Daraprim, the drug made famous by Martin Shkreli.

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Catch the Premiere of Our New Series ‘Needles & Pins’

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  VICE Staff

Our new VICELAND show explores the world of tattoo art as it grows from subculture to global phenomenon.

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What It’s Like to Go to Rehab Before Age 21

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

“I couldn’t possibly have a problem; I’m not even old enough to drink!”

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Why Libraries Need to Archive Porn

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

The history of modern hardcore deserves to be studied, not end up in a dumpster.

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Crime

A Yakuza Boss Allegedly Put Out a Hit on a Nurse After His Botched Dick Surgery

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

A few months after Satoru Nomura​ went under the knife for a penis enlargement procedure, one of his nurses was stabbed on the street.

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Leader of Standing Rock Sioux: “This Movement Has Been Special”

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous
Dave Archambault II

It’s time to do something and no longer sit back.” That was the message that David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, delivered to an audience at Cornell University on February 16. His comments came just a week before the February 22 deadline set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and echoed by North Dakota governor Doug Burgum for those at the Standing Rock encampments to evacuate.

While the overflow crowd was certainly drawn there because of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, the title of Archambault’s seminar was “Standing Rock: The Violation of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights.” While he did discuss the months-long protests, the talk covered a wide range of topics, adding essential historical context to the tribe’s modern struggle against the pipeline. 

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M-103 Ensures Diversity Can Continue To Be Canada’s Strength

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Last week, I was honoured to rise in the House of Commons to speak on the issue of systemic racism and religious discrimination. This conversation is long overdue and vital to ensuring that we continue to build a nation that chooses diversity over division.

Sikhs are often confused for Muslims and are too in fact the victims of Islamophobia. Our communities share a common experience, one that I have known personally since a young age. Having grown up as a practicing Sikh who wears a turban, whose father wears a turban, whose friends wear turbans, I recognize that members of the Sikh community have always stood out for our identity. It would be easy for Sikh Canadians to say “don’t attack us, we’re not Muslims,” but that is not the attitude that builds the greatest nation in the world.

raj grewal
MP Raj Grewal. (Photo: Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Just like my Jewish friends who wear the kipa or my Muslim friends who wear the hijab, we are all proud of our identities, but we also recognize that our identities and articles of faith make us easy targets. Personally, I can recount being teased by my classmates because of my turban, being bullied on the playground for being different, as well as being the subject of racist taunts as a young soccer player, and I still vividly remember my dad being verbally abused shortly after 9/11. Each instance of discrimination was rooted in mistrust, intolerance and fear.

Regardless of our backgrounds or beliefs, we are all Canadians.

The number one priority of a government is to ensure that its citizens of all different backgrounds feel safe, welcome and at home here in Canada.


All of us have to have the difficult conversations at our dinner tables about treating all people with respect and compassion.

We routinely hear about the rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric on our university campuses — including hate notes posted outside Jewish homes this past weekend. There are also many instances like the anti-Sikh flyers that were distributed last year at the University of Alberta. And while hate crimes overall are on the decline in Canada, they have more than doubled against Muslim communities from 2012 to 2015 and continue to rise at an alarming rate. In the face of these statistics, we cannot pretend discrimination is not a legitimate concern.

Canada’s greatest strength is its diversity. All of these instances are unacceptable.

Last week, my constituency office received over 14,000 emails in a coordinated campaign against Motion 103. M-103 is asking the government to condemn all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination, including but not limited to Islamophobia. ‎Additionally, it requests the further study of the issue and improved data collection. I want to make it clear that M-103 is a motion and not a bill. This distinction is an important one because a motion is not legally binding.

If some of our fellow Canadian brothers and sisters are living in fear of being attacked, verbally or physically, because of their identity, we need to do better as a nation, and M-103 is a step in the right direction.

sikhs and muslims
(Photo: Raj Grewal)

Doing better means that all of us have to have the difficult conversations at our dinner tables about treating all people with respect and compassion, regardless of their faith, race or culture. It requires us to ask questions if we do not understand, and answer responsibly when asked difficult questions. It requires us to make it known that it is not acceptable to act in a discriminatory or hateful manner towards anyone.

I ran in 2015 to be the MP for Brampton East because I wanted to ensure future generations had the same opportunity that I did. All Canadians should have the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education, they should strive to be entrepreneurs, and pursue any career of their choosing. What I don’t want for our future generations is to grow up in an atmosphere of hate which breeds fear in our fellow Canadians; I want all Canadians to be proud of their identities and contribute to our nation.

I want all of us to be able to say: I am a proud Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Christian, believer or non-believer. At the same time, I am equally a proud Canadian. Most importantly, I am proud that I live in a nation that doesn’t make me chose between my faith and my devotion to my country. This is the Canada I know and this is the Canada I love.

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Canada

The Cost: Just How Much Are Refugees Risking to Illegally Cross Into Canada?

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Sub-zero temperatures, rough terrain, and money: crossing the Canadian border isn’t as simple as stepping over a line.

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General

“Hell To Pay” If Trump Targets EPA Climate Science, Says U.S. Chamber Official

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  guest
Sign at a rally showing "I heart science"

This is a guest post by Dave Anderson, cross-posted from Energy and Policy Institute 

A senior energy official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently warned that there will be “hell to pay” if the Trump administration tries to rescind the EPA’s science-based endangerment finding for greenhouse gas emissions.  

In typical U.S. Chamber fashion, Christopher Guith dismissed current concerns about climate change as based on “religion” — not “scientific facts” — while speaking at a January 26th event in the coal state of Kentucky. Guith is the senior vice president for policy at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

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Conservative Party Membership: $15. Choosing Its Leader? Priceless

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Are you, like most Canadians, shocked and horrified by the current political climate of the United States?

Are recent events, such as the Muslim ban, the reinstatement of global gag-rule, and the firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates, keeping…

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The 2017 World Hoop Dance Championships (photos)

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

This year’s international Hoop Dance championship was the most competitive, powerful and inventive yet, as these astonishing photos easily prove.

The post The 2017 World Hoop Dance Championships (photos) appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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How the Alt-Right Reacted to Milo’s Downfall

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Many alt-right figures are going to extraordinary lengths to explain away the former Breitbart editor’s “pro-pedophilia” comments.

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Culture

Oprah and the Clintons Celebrate Maya Angelou in a New Documentary

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

‘Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise’ combines archival footage with interviews to dive into the more personal details of her life.

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Drugs

Bodies Every Night: Documenting the Brutal Philippine Drug War

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

With more than 6000 people already dead, we spoke to a local photojournalist about the realities of bearing witness to the carnage.

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How To Impeach Trump In 5 Easy Steps

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t going to be impeached.

Not anytime soon, anyway. The numbers just aren’t there.

Impeachment is about overturning the will of the people. Impeachment shouldn’t ever be easy. In the United States, impeachment has been …

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Jessica Simpson Beaded Dress Sandals, ‘Tribal Inspired’ High Heels Sold by Macy’s

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Inspiration versus appropriation – Macy’s now has Jessica Simpson beaded dress sandals that are ‘Tribal-Inspired.’

The post Jessica Simpson Beaded Dress Sandals, ‘Tribal Inspired’ High Heels Sold by Macy’s appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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Wake Up Canada, Islamophobia Is Not New To This Country

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Last week’s anti-Islam protest outside of a downtown Toronto mosque was small, but powerful. With roughly 50 protesters in total, their signs and banners that read “Stop Islam” and “Islam brings death” left no room for misinterpretation or misunderstan…

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Take The Fight Directly To Canada’s Fossil-Fuel Companies

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Nick Fillmore

Students at Dalhousie University in Halifax are a determined lot. Campaigning against the burning of fossil fuels, they have occupied the office of school president Richard Florizone.

Divest Dal is one of at least 34 academic-based campaigns across th…

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Laws Can Ban Islamophobia, But Only Honest Dialogue Will End It

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Recently MP Iqra Khalid received death threats for presenting motion M-103. The motion calls for condemning Islamophobia in the wake of the Quebec mosque shooting. The reaction to her motion and the blockage of a Toronto mosque only corroborate the vir…

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Progress In War Seems To Be Outpacing Efforts For Peace

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Glen Pearson

In the modern era, the abiding belief has always been that war and conflict were vestiges of the past and that peace was the progressive option for moving humanity into a more secure future. That sentiment is now under assault.

It’s troubling to think…

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Ontario’s Health Care Priorities Are All Wrong

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

“Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.”
– Mary McCarthy 

Last week, two health care stories in the news that got relatively little attention illustrated exactly what is wrong with the direction health care is taking in Ontario, under the leadership of its hapless Health Minister Eric Hoskins, and beleaguered Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The first news item was a truly sad story of how a specialized dementia unit in Ottawa was being forced to close. This unit provided care to the most difficult kind of patients with dementia, the ones whose dementia caused them to be verbally and physically aggressive. Personal Support Workers (PSW’s) and nurses specifically trained to deal with patients like these were instrumental in providing the kind of compassionate, devoted care that these residents deserved.

Obviously, however, that care came at a cost. When the decision to close the unit was announced, there was no sugar coating of the reason why. It was, purely and simply due to money. The unit was not “financially sustainable.” They could not afford the raises that were legitimately due the PSWs and Nurses that staffed the unit.

The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), which is a sort of regional health authority, issued a statement saying that the services “were important” and information about a new program would be coming “soon.” In the meantime, dementia patients with high risk behaviours are being sent back into local nursing homes, with assurances that they will be “well cared for.” This is despite the fact that the local nursing homes were not staffed at the higher levels that these patients needed.

The second news item was the report that Hoskins and Wynne will be hiring 84 new vice-presidents, to join the new “sub-LHINs” that will be created in Ontario as part of Bill 41, aka the “Patients First Act.” Hoskins states that this is due to a re-allocation of resources and that eventually the number of bureaucrats will go down. Considering this is from the same government that increased the number of senior bureaucrats at the Ministry of Health from 5 to 21, I would suggest you need MUCH more than a grain of salt when reading his statement.

This then, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with Ontario’s health care system. Front line service providers are cut due to funding constraints, but money is always available to hire more bureaucrats, who never see, let alone touch, a patient.

To make matters worse, I can guarantee you that all of these vice-presidents will have a salary that puts them on Ontario’s Sunshine List, the list of all employees of the Provincial Government who make over $100,000 a year. Yet PSWs, who actually lay hands on a patient, generally make between $25,000-$40,000 a year. I think it’s safe to say that you could hire three PSW’s (at least) for every one of these vice-presidents. It is shocking to me that the current government would prefer to hire 84 vice-presidents, instead of 252 PSW’s, particularly when it’s well known that there is a shortage of PSW’s in the province.

The more maddening thing is that there are also a host of other solutions available to help residents of nursing homes, that would be less expensive than a vice-president, and provide better front line care.

I was the Health Links lead physician for the South Georgian Bay Health Links from 2012-2014. Yes, I actually did work co-operatively with the Ministry of Health. Did so for a number of years, in fact. I stopped when it became apparent that Minister Hoskins was no longer interested listening to front line health care workers, and preferred to dictate how care would be provided to the province, from his office in Toronto. I was fortunate enough however, to see through the development of the main project, which was the setting up of an electronic portal that securely linked to the Electronic Medical Record in the offices of the family physician.

This enabled a nursing home to securely communicate electronically, in real time, with the patients physician. As such, a much more timely response from the physician was possible and issues for patients were dealt with much more expeditiously. Illnesses are now caught in their early stage and treated quickly, before the residents condition deteriorates. This is particularly important given the residents of nursing homes often have multiple medical problems, and are prone to deteriorating very quickly.

The result? In the two years the portal has been up and running, there has been an almost 50 per cent reduction in transfers to the local hospital, and an almost 60 per cent reduction in the number of hospitalization days.

Sounds expensive, no? Actually, the cost for two years was $70,000. That’s right, $35,000 per year. When you consider that the cost of a patient in hospital is $1,000 per day, the 60 per cent reduction in admission days very quickly made up the cost of the actual technology.

So, what do you think would help patients with significant behavioural problems due to dementia more? A mix of a secure, real time communications with the physician and more PSWs with specialized dementia training? Or 84 vice-Presidents? Would you mind telling Eric Hoskins and Kathleen Wynne? They just don’t seem to get it, and they are not listening to front line health care workers.

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Is It Fair To Call Trudeau A ‘White Supremacist Terrorist’?

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Can calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “white supremacist terrorist” be justified?

Black Lives Matter Toronto spokesperson Yusra Khogali’s description of Justin Trudeau as a “white supremacist terrorist” at a recent rally against Islamophobia has…

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General

NB3 Beverage Summit: ‘Decolonize’ Soda Consumption, Promote Drinking Water

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

In many Southwest Native languages, there are no words for soda or its popular brands. Yet the drink has been absorbed in many traditions, often served during Pueblo feasts, community give-aways or other ceremonial events, often replacing more nutritious drinks, including water.

“Water is sacred – why don’t we drink it?” asked Andrea Pepin, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project nutrition education coordinator, during the Notah Begay III Foundation’s first Healthy Beverage Summit on February 8 tackling the issue of the high intake of sugary drinks among Native youth.

The post NB3 Beverage Summit: ‘Decolonize’ Soda Consumption, Promote Drinking Water appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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Preclearance Bill Raises Concerns Over Canadian Sovereignty

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

On June 17, 2016, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness introduced Preclearance Act, 2016 [Bill C-23] (the “Preclearance Bill”). It purports to implement the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between…

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Expanding Preclearance For Faster, Charter-Protected Travel

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Ralph Goodale

While Canada and the United States share the longest, most open and successful international boundary in the history of the world, each country reserves its sovereign authority to regulate access. We each set and enforce our own rules. But we also each…

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Whitewashing History, the Indian Wars and Denying Genocide: Yet Another Bad Book

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Peter Cozzens’ latest book on the Indian Wars was described as “entertaining” yet it is another attempt at whitewashing history.

The post Whitewashing History, the Indian Wars and Denying Genocide: Yet Another Bad Book appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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Kennewick Man Returns Home

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Richard Walker

Ancestors of the Ancient One gathered on the Columbia Plateau on February 18 to lay Kennewick Man to rest after a 20-year battle.

The post Kennewick Man Returns Home appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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Divesting in DAPL in Favor of American Indian-Owned Banks

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Tribes and individuals can look to 18 American Indian-owned banks as an avenue for divesting in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The post Divesting in DAPL in Favor of American Indian-Owned Banks appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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Where’s Canada’s "Ministry of Space?"

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Brian Orlotti

The UK government has announced upcoming legislation to allow spaceports to be built in the United Kingdom; enabling the country, for the first time, to launch its home-built satellites from its own soil.

But the move calls Canada’s own longstanding space policies into question since, much like the UK, the Great White North has also long been unable to launch its own pioneering homegrown spacecraft and has suffered for it.

The new spaceport initiative enjoys broad support throughout the UK, even among tabloid readers. As outlined in the February 20th, 2017 The Sun post, “START SAVING NOW! You could fly to SPACE from the UK within three years as plans for space port are unveiled,” the specifics of the new Spaceflight Bill “will be revealed in Parliament this week.” Graphic c/o The Sun.

As outlined in the February 20th, 2017 UK government press release, “New legal powers could send UK scientists into space to research vaccines and medicines,” the new legislation, called “The Spaceflight Bill,” calls for commercial spaceports to be established across the UK beginning in 2020.

These spaceports will provide a variety of services, from satellite launches to space tourism to zero-gravity research.

The Spaceflight Bill builds upon a £10 million GBP ($16.3Mln CDN) grant announced earlier this month by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to create an environment in which the UK’s commercial space sector can thrive.

UK Lord Ahmad. Photo c/o UK Government.

Next steps will involve the UK government encouraging industry to come forward with specific proposals for space launches.

After introduction of the Bill later this year, rules and regulations will be developed for space operators i.e. safety and insurance matters. In addition, the UK government will invite individual commercial space firms to solicit funding to help kick-start a UK space launch industry.

The press release also quoted UK Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon as stating:

The UK’s space sector is the future of the British economy. It already employs thousands of people and supports industries worth more than £250 million to the economy, and we want to grow it further. Forty years ago, meteorologists couldn’t have imagined the importance of satellites for predicting the weather. Today over 90% of data used in every forecast comes from a satellite, with hundreds of other applications used in GPS, telecommunications and broadband. 

We have never launched a spaceflight before from this country. Our ambition is to allow for safe and competitive access to space from the UK, so we remain at the forefront of a new commercial space age, for the next 40 years.

The UK could have pioneered manned spaceflight in the 1950’s,  landed on the Moon in 1957 and established a 700 person colony on Mars by 1969 according to Warren Ellis in his “Ministry of Space” graphic novels. Artwork c/o Chris Weston/  Image Comics.

In his influential 2001 – 2003 graphic novel series, “Ministry of Space,” British writer Warren Ellis posits an alternate history in which the UK captured the German rocket base at Peenemünde in World War II before the US and the Soviet Union, and brought all the key personnel and technology to Britain.

The graphic novel mirrored the real-life Operation Paperclip, a secretive United States Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were brought to the United States for government employment from post-Nazi Germany.

Upon this foundation, a new “Ministry of Space” is established to pursue the development of British space technology. Eventually, the ministry forges a new off-world British Empire, ushering an age of unparalleled prestige and prosperity for Britain.

Canada, with its own federal space program withering and its space industry unable to launch its own products despite possessing a skilled scientific and industrial base, stands at its own crossroads. The UK has chosen to see space as a path back to prosperity, not an expense to be minimized.

What choice will Canada make? When will our “Ministry of Space” emerge?

Brian Orlotti.

  ______________________________________________________________

Brian Orlotti is a network administrator at KPMG and a regular contributor to the Commercial Space blog.

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Bringing Native American Culture Back With River Cane

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

The Cherokee River Cane Initiative is helping bring Native American culture back to the Cherokee Nation by replenishing the river cane supply.

The post Bringing Native American Culture Back With River Cane appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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My NEW Taki’s column: 50 Years of “Bonnie and Clyde”

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
My NEW Taki’s column: 50 Years of “Bonnie and Clyde”

I had to cut a lot, but it is probably just as well. I wanted to mention, for instance, my suspicion that Beatty’s appearance in the last scene especially was a nod to Zbigniew Cybulski, and not just Belmondo in Breathless. Thanks to everyone on Facebook who tried to help with research! In patented boomer fashion, […]

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Exercise

Running More Doesn’t Burn Any Extra Overall Calories (In Mice)

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

In terms of the constrained energy expenditure model of physical activity (whereby beyond a certain increase in activity, total daily calorie expenditure stays the same), this small mouse study is pretty cool.

15 mice were housed in indirect calorimetry chambers that contained running wheels. The experiment included a habituation phase, then a locked wheel phase, and finally a run as much as they wanted phase.

All told, despite a doubling of wheel use, the mice’ total daily energy expenditures stayed roughly the same – elevated somewhat from their wheel locked baseline, but stuck at an elevation seen with slight use.

The researchers observed a pattern they’d previously hypothesized – mice who ran more on the wheel, were less active when off the wheel. And though not measured, researchers also wondered whether increased muscle efficiencies with time might also be playing a role in the lack of increased energy expenditures.

The researchers’ not-meant-for-mice conclusion echoes my confirmation bias,

physical activity should be encouraged for its overall health benefits, while expectations concerning its role in weight loss should be kept realistic.

Exercise is primarily for health, not weight loss.

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According To Trudeau, M-103 Is Now About Free Speech

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

Well, I tried.

Despite being a dirty ex-partisan, according to a common strain of responses to my columns and tweets, I tried.

I tried to be calmly rational and precise about what Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s Motion M-103 does and doesn’t say about s…

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"We are all Explorers" educational tour reaches B.C.

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

jill heinerth, explorer-in-residence, b.c., education tour

Jill Heinerth has gone deeper into underwater caves than any woman before her. As The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s first-ever Explorer-in-Residence, she has spent the last few months travelling to schools across Canada, sharing her experiences.

Since November, Heinerth has been to more than 15 schools, in southern Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The final leg of her journey brings her to British Columbia, where she will complete her “We are all Explorers” tour.

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Trump, Putin, Exxon: What Is Russiagate Really About?

Posted  February 21, 2017  by  guest

By Kert Davies and David Halperin

Any analysis of Russiagate, and the fateful phone calls between Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the United States, must address the critical fact that U.S. sanctions on Russia are severely damaging Vladimir Putin’s economic power. In particular, these sanctions – imposed by Barack Obama, supported by Hillary Clinton, and repeatedly questioned by Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson – are blocking a lucrative long-term oil agreement between Russia and ExxonMobil, a deal whose value is underscored by a little-noticed 1988 declassified CIA document.

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DigitalGlobe in "Buyout Talks" With MacDonald Dettwiler, 17 New CSA "Enabling Technologies" & the 2017 NSERC Awards

Posted  February 20, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Henry Stewart

For the week of February 20th, 2017, here are a few of the stories we’re currently tracking for the Commercial Space blog:

An overview of Digitalglobe stock price on February 17th, 2017, when the news broke that MDA might be attempting to buy the company. As would be expected, Digitalglobe shares went up in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after the story broke. MDA’s shares were down slightly on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Both the NYSE and the TSX were closed for holidays on Monday but will reopen on Tuesday. Graphic c/o Marketwatch.

The February 17th, 2017 Reuters post, “Canada’s MacDonald Dettwiler to buy DigitalGlobe: Dow Jones,” quoted unnamed sources as stating that a final deal would close for about $2Bln – $3Bln USD ($2.6Bln – $3.9Bln CDN). 

But Dow Jones was also hedging its bets on the validity of its source. As outlined in the post, “financial conditions of the deal couldn’t be learned and it is also possible that talks might fall apart before a decision is reached, the Dow Jones report said.” 

DigitalGlobe’s current market cap is approximately $1.8Bln US ($2.4Bln CDN). 

Curiously enough, both MDA and Digitalglobe, as publicly traded corporations, will be holding their quarterly conference earnings calls over the next week. DigitalGlobe is set to report its full year and fourth quarter 2016 financial results on Monday, February 27th, 2017 and MDA will release its fourth quarter and year end financial results on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017. 

Perhaps by then, the real situation will begin to shake out. 

Screenshot c/o Buyandsell.gc.ca.

  • The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has issued a letter of interest (LOI) for seventeen “enabling technologies,” needed in order to facilitate Canadian contributions to a variety of potential international space missions.

As outlined in the February 16th, 2017 Buyandsell.gc.ca listing, “Development of enabling space technologies – Letter of interest (9F063-160864/A),” the LOI will focus on the development and improvement of technologies able to reach CSA “technology readiness level TRL 6.” 

TRL-6, as defined by the CSA, normally includes the development of “a representative model or prototype system,” suitable for testing and showing off to potential customers.

The technologies identified under the program include upgrades of existing technology relating to Earth imaging, space medicine and rover technologies. The LOI includes time-frame, beginning and ending tech-levels and estimated budgets once the programs are underway,

Budgets range from $75 – $100K CDN (for the “development of technology that will help to secure Canada’s position as leader of inspace biological sample analysis in support of space research and health monitoring“) to $1 – $1.3Mln CDN (for the “development of an advanced low frequency power amplifier for the harsh space environment around Mars“). 

The CSA normally defines “enabling technologies” as components or subsystems of space missions organized by other nations and/or private companies, which the CSA will commit to developing in order to be allowed to participate in the mission.

Funding for the development of “enabling technologies” are normally allocated under the CSA’s space technologies development program (STDP).

Seven short videos, highlighting several of the 2017 winners were posted (but with very little fanfare) to the 2017 NSERC Prizes You-Tube page on February 7th, 2017. That’s a bit of a shame since the individual awards focus on useful accomplishments from Federally funded scientists and are well worth celebrating.

This years winners include:

  • Sylvain Moineau, from the Université Laval, who received the 2017 John C. Polanyi Award for playing a leading role in the international collaboration which identified the adaptive immunity system known as CRISPR-Cas, found in about half of all bacteria. 
  • André Longtin and Leonard Maler, from the University of Ottawa, who received the 2017 Brockhouse Canada Prize for interdisciplinary research in science and engineering, for combining their expertise in physics, mathematics and neurobiology to uncover the neural code that underlies the operation of the brain. 

For a complete listing of the 2017 NSERC prizes and their winners, check out the February 7th, 2017 “NSERC Prizes page.”

For more, check out future posts in the Commercial Space blog.

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Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist

Posted  February 20, 2017  by  Steve Horn
Construction of Keystone XL pipeline

TransCanada has wasted no time since President Donald Trump signed a January 24 executive order calling for U.S. federal agencies to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. 

The Calgary-based company has already re-applied for a presidential permit through the U.S. Department of State to cross the U.S.-Canada border with the pipeline and has also applied in Nebraska to build the line across that state. It also has registered to lobby the federal government, deploying lobbyist and former GOP Congressional staffer Jay Cranford of the CGCN Group, for the job.

As DeSmog has previously reported, fellow CGCN Group lobbyist Mike Catanzaro is the presumed choice for top energy adviser to President Trump. Catanzaro has a track record as a climate change denier and has lobbied for companies such as Devon Energy, America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), and others.

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