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General

U.S. Doctors May Soon Be Legally Able to Refuse to Treat Trans People

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Anonymous

The Trump Administration has proposed a revision of the Affordable Care Act that would eliminate anti-discrimination protections for transgender Americans.

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General

YouTube Is Ending the Era of the Subscriber Count Beef

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Anonymous

Live subscriber count tools like the one offered by Social Blade will be impossible starting in August, when YouTube plans on abbreviating public-facing subscriber counts.

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General

Years Later, the Ending of ‘Dragon’s Dogma’ Remains Wonderfully Weird and Subversive

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Anonymous

You know that fantasy epic about breaking the cycle of power you were looking for? Well…

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Crime

How Three Teen Sisters Were Allegedly Groomed into NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere’s ‘Sex Cult’

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Sarah Berman

The self-help guru presented himself as a genius tutor and mentor who could help them deal with their parents’ separation.

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Film

The Most Disastrous Cannes Walkouts of All Time, Ranked

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Anonymous

After ‘Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo’ gave one critic a “mild psychotic break,” we revisited the worst receptions Cannes films have ever gotten.

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Cancer

Daily Horoscopes: May 25, 2019

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Anonymous

The moon is in Aquarius today.

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General

Saturday Stories: Ultra-Processed Kids, Un-Dead Cons, And Modern German Antisemitism

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Bettina Elias Siegel, in her blog The Lunch Tray, on what that recent ultra-processed study means for our children.

Nathaniel Penn, in GQ, with the case of the curious con who wouldn’t die.

James Angelos, in The New York Times, on Germany’s modern day antisemites.

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Canada

We Should All Embrace Drake’s Pettiness

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

After the Raptors won game five of the NBA eastern conference finals, Drake showed Canadians the way to go about their business.

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Canada

More Drug Users Are Intentionally Using Fentanyl Amid Overdose Crisis, Study Finds

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

The way we think about harm reduction and fentanyl should change, Canadian researchers suggest.

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Comment: ‘This Is Bigger’: Palestinian and Israeli Teens Strike Together for the Climate

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 4 mins

Jerusalem climate strike

By Michael Bäcklund. This article originally appeared on Climate Home News.

At a climate march in Jerusalem, students put hatred aside to tell the government that nothing matters more than a safe climate.

The Israeli school strike branch had a very successful strike on Tuesday, which was three times bigger than the last one in March.

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Culture

Some Emo Parenting Advice From American Football

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

The godfathers of modern emo talked to us about balancing touring, parenting, and dealing with the pressure of being a cult band.

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General

Flying food for fish? Tiger sharks are somehow eating songbirds

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

How have sharks developed a taste for twittering songbirds?

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General

Fungus fossils shows the complexity of Earth’s life a billion-years-ago

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Billion-year-old fungus fossils shed light into ancient evolutionary history

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General

Scientists create robot-like biomaterial with key traits of life

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Building machine-like biomaterial with key traits of life

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General

What happens to oil spills after dispersant is used?

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Dispersant breaks oil down into droplets, where bacteria break them down further,

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General

Ancient beavers as big as bears died out because of their woodless diet

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

The giant beaver did not eat wood, which led to its extinction

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General

No, really, calculus can be beautiful and this mathematician will tell us why

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Finding the beauty in a dreaded subject: calculus

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Debt

Millennials Are Taking on Credit Card Debt Because We Can’t Afford Necessities

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

A new report has more bad news for young people.

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General

Erin Weir Debacle Will Haunt Jagmeet Singh

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  leftdog

The Erin Weir debacle continues to haunt the federal New Democrats. It underscores party leader Jagmeet Singh’s seeming policy confusion and calls into question his political judgment.

It just won’t go away.

Weir is the Regina MP who was expelled from the NDP caucus last year and barred from running again for the party. His sin? He had dared to defend himself against charges of sexual harassment.

This week, the 37-year-old, lifelong New Democrat conceded that he won’t run under his party’s banner in the fall election. Nor will he run as an independent. He will sit this one out.

The Weir saga began with a 2018 email from NDP MP Christine Moore to fellow caucus members claiming that he had harassed not her but other, unnamed women. Singh almost immediately suspended Weir from caucus, while his office began a search for women willing to complain. Eventually, four were found. Three said Weir stood too close to them when talking and didn’t know when to shut up. The fourth said he had twice yelled at her over the issue of carbon tariffs — once during a policy debate and again later in an elevator.

At another time, these complaints might have been kept in perspective. But in the #MeToo frenzy of 2018, they were viewed as unforgivable political crimes. Weir was ordered to apologize to the “survivors” and take sensitivity training. He readily agreed, but with one exception. He didn’t see why he should apologize to someone for having heated words over a policy issue — even if that someone were female.

When his accuser was quoted anonymously on CBC, Weir responded to media requests for his side of the story. That, it seemed, was truly unpardonable. Singh expelled him from caucus and barred him from running for the NDP in the fall federal election.

In particular, Singh faulted him “for diminishing the finding of harassment by claiming that this was in fact a policy disagreement.” “It’s a bit Orwellian,” Weir told me in telephone interview this week. “If you try to defend yourself, it only proves that you’re guilty.”

In January, the Regina-Lewvan NDP constituency association asked Singh to reconsider and let Weir contest the nomination. Singh refused. Earlier, 68 prominent Saskatchewan New Democrats, including 13 former MPs, made a similar pitch. Singh dismissed that plea as coming from “people in a position of privilege.”

It was a comment that didn’t go over well in Saskatchewan.

The NDP will rue its treatment of Weir. It has been not only unfair but unproductive. A former economist for the Steelworkers Union, Weir has a keen understanding of the political economy of his home province.

On the issue of energy pipelines, for instance, he understands both the need to combat global warming and the dollars-and-cents reality of his constituents.

He favours construction of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta’s tarsands to the Pacific Coast. In part that’s because the pipes for such a project are manufactured in Regina. In part, it’s because “to the extent that we continue to use oil,” pipelines are the safest way to move petroleum.

He says he is baffled that “the current leadership” of his party has taken no position on carbon pricing, given that this issue promises to be central to the October election.

He’s equally baffled that Singh opposes all oil pipelines but appears to favour building new natural gas pipelines in British Columbia. (In fact, the NDP leader has suggested, at different times, that he both supports and opposes a plan to pipe B.C. natural gas to the Pacific Coast for liquefaction and export to Asia.)

Many New Democrats will disagree with Weir on the pipeline question. But he’s right that the party needs to clarify its muddled position.

He’s also right that vigorous debate between those who happen to be men and those who happen to be women shouldn’t automatically be treated as sexual harassment. Such an approach does no sex any favours.

Thomas Walkom is a Toronto-based columnist covering politics. Follow him on Twitter: @tomwalkom

The  Star

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General

Canadian diver named 2019 North American Rolex Scholar

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

A female scuba diver holds a light up to anemones during a night dive

2019 North American Rolex Scholar Neha Acharya-Patel, the first Canadian to hold the scholarship, dives at night near Catalina Island off the coast of California while working with the Pennington Marine Science Center. (Photo: Shaun Wolfe)

I’ve been comfortable in the water from a young age, and ever curious about my surroundings. I grew up in Waterloo, Ontario, and spent much of my summers exploring the lakes and rivers that make up the Canadian Shield. My interest in aquatic environments naturally extended to the sea. When I was in high school, I learned to dive in a little “dive park” — essentially a pond with a collection of sunken refrigerators and toilets. I did not dive again until three years later when I moved to the West Coast to study biology with a marine specialization at the University of British Columbia.

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#497 That moment right after the show ends and just before the applause begins

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Fat ladies hit the high note, trumpets blast in the pit band, and stage hands yank the curtains closed in that big booming finish at the end of the show. Yes, the guitarist slashes the final chord as that closing climax spirals up and up and up before just so suddenly … stopping. Then there’s […]

The post #497 That moment right after the show ends and just before the applause begins appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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First, Climate Change, Now the Global Extinction Crisis: Industry-Paid Hacks Deny Science to Congress

Posted  May 23, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 5 mins

Patrick Moore, Marc Morano, Robert Watson

In this week’s Congressional hearing on the recent (and dire) UN Global Assessment of Biodiversity, conservation scientist Dr. Jacob Malcom did not mince words as he explained the report’s startling findings that one million species are at risk of extinction.

We are, as you have heard, losing species faster than ever in human history, tens to hundreds of times faster than the background rate of extinction,” the Defenders of Wildlife scientist told the Congressional House Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee. “We are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction, where the last time this happened it was because an asteroid hit the planet. Today we are that asteroid.”

Such a massive loss of plants, animals, and other species would also, quite naturally, affect human life on earth. But just as they have with hearings on the climate crisis, Congressional Republicans and their witnesses used this opportunity to attack the well-documented scientific evidence of a far-reaching global threat to life. And they even used some of the same climate science deniers and tired arguments to do it.

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Meet the 2019 Can Geo Challenge National Finalists

Posted  May 23, 2019  by  Anonymous

Top 20 students for the Canadian Geographic Challenge national final

It’s that time of year again! Twenty students from all across Canada are about to arrive in the nation’s capital for the Canadian Geographic Challenge national final. Taking place from May 25 to 27, this annual competition tests the country’s brightest young students on everything geography-related as they compete for the title of National Champion. 

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Explore: A Canadian Geographic podcast – Episode 7: George Kourounis

Posted  May 23, 2019  by  Anonymous

George Kourounis

George Kourounis spins tales of his adventures in the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Reading Room at 50 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. (Photo: Javier Frutos/Canadian Geographic)

“I’ve had lightning strikes so close, I could feel the heat on my face … The shockwave just hits you in the chest.” 

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General

#498 Those long comfortable silences between really close friends

Posted  May 23, 2019  by  Anonymous

. . . . . . . .. . … . “Mm, want the air conditioning on or anything?” “No, no, I’m good…” .. .. . .. . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AWESOME! — […]

The post #498 Those long comfortable silences between really close friends appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

After DeSmog’s Revelations, Enbridge’s Weymouth Gas Facility Air Permit in Jeopardy

Posted  May 22, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 5 mins

Mass DEP office

In a surprise move that threw a controversial fossil fuel project into a whirlwind, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) late last week revealed new evidence of toxins in the area of a proposed natural gas facility in the greater Boston area.

The sequence of events leading to the disclosure was set in motion by DeSmog’s recent revelations that the state had not released air pollution data, including evidence of carcinogens, which were collected from the proposed site of Enbridge’s gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Now, DEP’s air permit for the compressor station, which is currently under appeal, is teetering.

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Louisiana Law Turning Pipeline Protests Into Felonies Violates Constitution, New Lawsuit Alleges

Posted  May 22, 2019  by  Sharon Kelly

Read time: 7 mins

water is critical infrastructure protest banner

A lawsuit filed today in federal court in Louisiana challenges the state’s “critical infrastructure” law, used to press felony charges against fossil fuel pipeline construction opponents, as unconstitutional.

Louisiana’s critical infrastructure law is unconstitutionally vague and broad, the suit alleges, because it lets “any authorized person” exclude people from public places like sidewalks and roads if the state’s 125,000 miles of mostly unmarked pipelines cross there. The law could even be used to bring felony charges against a landowner for being on their own land, the lawsuit alleges.

And, as more than a dozen arrests of peaceful protesters under the new law demonstrate, its actual aim is to chill, and harshly punish, speech and expression in opposition to pipeline projects,” the complaint adds.

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According To This Comparison Of Canadian Dietary Recall Data, Underestimations May Help To Explain Purported Decreasing Sugar Consumption

Posted  May 22, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

This recent report from Health Canada about sugar consumption was an interesting read.

Not so much in terms of sugar, and yes, the report says we eat too much of it (I’ll come back to that) but rather in terms of dietary recall. It seems we’re getting worse at it.

According to their determination, whereby they compared dietary recall data’s caloric totals with those that would be predicted by a respondent’s age, BMI (measured, not self-reported), sex and activity levels, if your self-reported intake was less than 70% of that predicted, you were classified as an under-reporter, and if it was more than 142% of predicted, you were classified as an over-reporter.

Overall, compared with 2004, people were significantly more likely to under-report and less likely to over-report. In adults, under-reporters increased by 22% (from 28.2% to 34.5%), in kids aged 9-18 by 59% (from 16.5% to 26.3%), and in younger children it more than doubled (from 6.7% to 14.1%). Simultaneously, over-reporting dropped by 45% in adults (from 13.6% to 7.4%), in kids aged 9-18 by 41% (from 22% to 12.8%), and in young children by 35% (from 27.6% to 18%).

So how does this affect sugar consumption data?

Well you may have read that dietary sugar consumption is decreasing. And maybe it is (dietary recall data is fraught with error). But this data suggests that while consumption is shifting, with more added sugars coming from food and less from beverages, totals, if looking at plausible reporters only, have stayed pretty much the same, and has increased slightly in children.

As to what’s going on, could it be that with ongoing discussion of the dangers of unhealthy diets that people become less likely to want to disclose what they’re eating? Either way, it’s further evidence that we need a better way of tracking dietary intake and a possible confounder for those reporting that sugar consumption is decreasing.

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#499 When you realize you didn’t get a parking ticket but should have

Posted  May 22, 2019  by  Anonymous

Well, well, well. Look at you living life in the fire lane. Yes, you came, you parked, you went over time, and you know it. Now you’re scrambling out of the laundromat with a teetery stack of folded towels, racing out of the barber shop with a a freshly shorn neck, or running out of […]

The post #499 When you realize you didn’t get a parking ticket but should have appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

Trump Admin Pushes More ‘Clean Coal’ Spending as Justice Department Investigates Failed ‘Clean Coal’ Project

Posted  May 21, 2019  by  Sharon Kelly

Read time: 8 mins

Kemper power plant

In April, the Department of Justice informed Southern Company that it was under investigation “related to the Kemper County energy facility” in Mississippi, where Southern had spent $7.5 billion, including hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds from the Department of Energy, trying to build a coal-fired power plant that would capture carbon emissions.

Former engineers and officials from the Kemper plant have described evidence of possible intentional fraud at the construction project, alleging that the company knew of design flaws early on but pressed forward with the project in the hopes that costs could be passed on to power customers even if the project ran severely over-budget.

But the while the company remains under investigation, the Trump administration is doubling down by offering new funding — not just millions for more “clean coal” research and development, but also billions more for another construction project, which is also far behind schedule and over-budget, by the same company.

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General

Virtual Pipelines: A Dangerous New Way to Transport Fracked Gas by Truck

Posted  May 21, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 9 mins

XNG rollover in Hartwick, New York in 2017

For several years a mysterious fleet of tractor trailers loaded with natural gas cylinders has been crisscrossing U.S. roads, and in the dark early morning hours on Sunday, March 3, one drove off a highway near Cobleskill, New York, careened down an embankment, and flipped over. The driver had fallen asleep, according to a New York State police accident report, the truck was demolished, and “several tanks ruptured and were leaking” natural gas. Five nearby homes were evacuated.

For retired New York Department of Transportation commercial vehicle inspector Ron Barton, an alarm bell he had been ringing for months suddenly grew even more urgent. “This is a catastrophe waiting to happen,” says Barton.

The trucks are part of a little-known system of moving natural gas called “virtual pipelines.”

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General

Big Polluters Hijack Shipping Talks to Slow Decarbonisation Progress

Posted  May 21, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 8 mins

Extinction Rebellion International Maritime Organisation protest

UN shipping talks stalled last week as slow-moving players, including Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the US, obstructed attempts to decide how the sector should begin to decarbonise.

The negotiations, which took place at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), are part of a global process on how to cut shipping’s large and growing emissions.

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#500 Finally making it halfway

Posted  May 21, 2019  by  Anonymous

Maybe you’re running on the treadmill when you catch the clock tick past the middle of your sweaty jog. Maybe you’re reading late at night and notice you’re on the middle page where the left and right sides form one big rectangle of paper. Or maybe you’re on a long Sunday drive to visit a […]

The post #500 Finally making it halfway appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Comment: Interior Department’s Offshore Oil Regulatory Rollback Relies on Big Oil Document

Posted  May 20, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 4 mins

David Bernhardt

This is a guest post from ClimateDenierRoundup.

Last week, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt testified in front of the House Natural Resources Committee about his leadership of the agency, flanked by “swamp monsters” in the audience highlighting his corruption.

When Rep. Huffman asked Bernhardt for specific examples of times when he told former clients “no,” when they asked for a policy change, he struggled to name a single instance. Remember, this is the man with so many conflicts of interest he has to carry them on a card, so he has plenty of former clients to choose from. After being pressed further by Huffman to name something specific, Bernhardt makes a reference to a “well control” rule.

That’s really where it gets interesting. Bernhardt’s industry clients actually praised the DOI’s well control rollback. And not only that, but the rule actually relies on the industry’s own guidance, effectively supplanting an Obama-era regulation with an American Petroleum Institute document.

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#501 Correctly picking the fastest moving line at the grocery store

Posted  May 20, 2019  by  Anonymous

You can do it. Motor around filling your basket with food before spying the checkouts and picking your poison. Here’s five tips for living life in the fast lane: 5. Skip your greens. Keep away from shopping carts full of strange produce. Anyone with little bags of cilantro or parsley is a guaranteed slowdown because […]

The post #501 Correctly picking the fastest moving line at the grocery store appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Just a Coincidence the Final Episode Airs This Weekend?

Posted  May 18, 2019  by  Balbulican
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Saturday Stories: Dietary Guidelines, “Vaccine Injury”, and “Chronic Lyme”

Posted  May 18, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Kevin Bass, in his blog Nutritional Revolution, with the data driven case on how you can’t blame people following dietary guidelines for a country’s obesity rates.

James Hamblin, in The Atlantic, on the truth behind vaccine injury compensation.

Abby Hartman, in It’s Training Cats and Dogs, with her first person account on walking to, and then away from, treatment for “chronic lyme disease”.

Pic By Alan R WalkerOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Native Renewables: Powering Up Tribal Communities

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 5 mins

Native Renewables with large solar panel

By Tara Lohan, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

There’s something amiss in the Southwest. The region has the best solar potential in the country, yet thousands still live in homes without electricity. The problem is especially acute in native communities like the Navajo Nation, which was passed over in earlier efforts to bring electricity to rural communities.

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We need plastics – how do we avoid choking the planet with them?

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

Plastics are the scourge of the Earth: What we can do about it?

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Learning from tragedy – a baby lacking critical brain cells and a medical detective story

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

A tragic story of a baby born without microglia cells sheds light on brain development

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