Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
Read time: 7 mins
A Harvard research team recently announced plans to perform early tests to shoot sunlight-reflecting particles into the high atmosphere to slow or reverse global warming.
These research efforts, which could take shape as soon as the first half of 2019, fall under the banner of a geoengineering technology known as solar radiation management, which is sometimes called “sun dimming.”
However, less than two weeks after the announcement, the climate science and policy institute Climate Analytics took aim at these ambitions in a new briefing titled ”Why geoengineering is not a solution to the climate problem,” which goes as far as recommending a global ban on solar geoengineering.
Sure, sure, we’re all honest people here. You and me, we’re driving the speed limit, crossing at crosswalks, and never double parking. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like bonus fries, extra-scoopy ice cream, or double cheese on our subs, people. Yes, when the gal behind the smooth orange counter wearing the paper hat and […]
The post #627 When your friends working in fast food restaurants give you a little something extra appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 4 mins
Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration’s failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee’s stance on climate change.
President Trump’s nomination of the fossil fuel lawyer as one of the FERC‘s five commissioners was strongly opposed by environmentalists, public health groups and elected leaders.
I spent 24 hours reading every attack on the lefty congresswoman I could find.
Read time: 5 mins
More than a thousand people marched amidst heavy police presence to demand negotiators and ministers attending the UN climate talks in the southern Polish city of Katowice take more ambitious action on climate change.
Campaigners and activists from around the world took part in the March for Climate, which marked the end of the first of two weeks of global climate negotiations in Katowice.
Protesters chanted “keep the coal in the hole”, urged negotiators to “wake-up”, and demanded “climate justice now” while waving colourful banners and flags. Some were also wearing pollution masks to highlight Katowice’s heavily polluted air due to local coal mining.
Stephen Senn, in Nature, on the statistical pitfalls of personalized medicine
Dan M. Kahan, in Scientific American, on why smart people are vulnerable to putting tribe before truth.
Joan Didion, in The New Yorker (back in 1993), with the trouble in Lakewood
Skip the shock. People, we’ve chatted before about how bad your feet have it. Face it, they’ve been through a lot today so there’s no need to nail them with a blast of cold air before bed. Instead, just tuck them in tightly, tuck them in rightly, and peel off your socks using only your […]
The post #628 Peeling your sweaty socks off under the sheets appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 7 mins
After three landowners filed a legal challenge against Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC’s right to build a pipeline on their land — which it did without their permission — the case concluded this week with a very small fine for the company.
On December 6, Louisiana State Judge Keith Comeaux fined the pipeline company $450 for trespassing during construction before properly obtaining permission. The judge also granted the company the permission it sought to expropriate the land it had already built on.
Here’s the sitch.
A former patient held a sign saying she was molested by Dr. Kunwar Raj Singh, a pediatrician, when she was 15.
The mayor of Padang thinks gay and transgender people are possessed by genies known as “djin”.
The government recently doubled the bounty for pornbusters who snitch on people publishing illicit content.
We’re going to take the flower by the thorns and feed two birds with one scone by taking down two crappy takes.
Ant-Man is back! Hawkeye has a big knife! Cap is sad because a bunch of people died!
The man, who was 14 at the time, was raped by five prisoners after a guard led him to a private cell during a judge-ordered visit in the 70s.
Read time: 6 mins
Short days and frequent snows can make Maine winters seem gloomy. But for renewable energy companies and supporters, the gloom has persisted for the last eight years under a governor openly hostile to solar and wind energy. With the 2018 election, a pro-environment Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature were swept into power.
“One of the more frustrating things over the last eight years has been the inability to have a conversation around a shared goal that is based in reality,” said Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association (MREA). He said they’re now looking forward to having “a positive, fact-based discourse around energy policy.”
Users have no choice when it comes to lethal fentanyl in street drugs
Take a photo of your nails to find out if you’re anemic
3D printing moon dust could be the way to colonize the moon
How the octopus got their intelligence
Why the prevailing theory for the cause of Alzheimer’s may be wrong
Impossible, but the heat would build up and possibly separate continents
Cavers on the Bisaro Plateau near Fernie, B.C. (Photo: Jérôme Genairon)
A group of cavers from across the country ventured once again to the Bisaro Plateau near Fernie, B.C. in August 2018. This time, the 22 members of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s 2018 Expedition of the Year weren’t focused on explorations inside the Bisaro Anima Cave, the deepest in Canada as of January 2018. Instead, they set their sights on the surface, hoping to find new entrances that connect to the known cave system.
Wildlife photographer John E. Marriott at work in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest. (Photo: Pat Roque)
Inset: The cover of the December 2011 issue of Canadian Geographic magazine, featuring Marriott’s image of a grizzly bear and cub.
When I was 26, I said goodbye to a nine-to-five job with Parks Canada in Banff National Park and began to slowly transition into a career in photography. That fall, a phone call came out of the blue from the photo editor of Canadian Geographic magazine. I had been busy taking photographs for two and a half years, but I still hadn’t considered trying to sell my images, let alone to Canada’s most well-known nature magazine. I was a deer-in-the-headlights rookie navigating uncharted waters.
Maybe a quiet haze drifts in your dorm as you worry about upcoming exams and patchy friendships. Maybe your heart just got flattened by a runaway relationship and the knots in your stomach are twisting and burning. Or maybe you’re trekking cross-country with a backpack and a dream and are suddenly sucker-punched with a jabby […]
The post #629 When it feels like the lyrics to the song you’re listening to were written perfectly for you appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 4 mins
When Koch Industries needs a study to cast doubt on the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs), where does it turn?
Unsurprisingly, to an industry-funded study mill that infamously produced a key report defending the tobacco industry that was deployed by Philip Morris in the 1990s, and which has since published studies commissioned by the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, the coal industry, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
As Congress debates whether to extend, end, or leave alone the federal EV tax credit, a study critical of the incentive has been making the rounds in conservative media outlets and Koch-affiliated free market advocacy groups.
Read time: 3 mins
A Polish trade union has issued a joint statement with a notorious American climate science denial group rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change.
The statement, signed by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute and the trade union Solidarity was released as UN climate talks took place in Katowice, the centre of Poland’s coal heartland region of Silesia.
The talks, known as COP24, are widely considered to be the most important climate meeting since the 2015 summit in Paris and will aim to finalise the rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement.
Read time: 5 mins
We were told to meet by the glowing jellyfish. Pascoe Sabido was holding it aloft, its plastic tentacles tangling, as journalists and campaigners closed in around him. A campaigner for Corporate Europe Observatory, he had promised us a “Toxic Tour” of COP24, a chance to see the influence of energy companies lurking behind the green veneer of the countries gathered here to tackle climate change.
With a dropped jaw, buggy eyes, and sweaty palms your hot, salty head pops up from your warm pillow in a heart-pounding state of emergency. After a second of massively intense panic where you zoom into brain-rushing, adrenaline-gushing overdrive, it just suddenly just dawns on you … It was all just a dream. It was […]
The post #630 That moment you wake up from a nightmare and realize it was all just a dream appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2015.
For those of you who don’t know, The Obesity Society (TOS) is, according to them,
“North America’s premier scientific organization devoted to understanding obesity“
And I wholeheartedly agree, they really are, which is why I’m anything but happy to be resigning my membership.
I’ve been a member for the past decade, and I do my utmost to attend their annual meeting (now known as Obesity Week).
Paying to be a member of a professional organization, to me at least, means that you believe the organization’s mission and methods to be congruent with your own, and sadly, that’s no longer the case with me and TOS.
My concerns began in early 2013. That was when TOS published their, “Guidelines for Accepting Funds from External Sources” position paper. In it TOS,
“expressly eliminates all forms of evaluation or judgment of the funding source“
“TOS chooses to focus its ethical mission on transparency in disclosing the sources of funding, clear stipulations outlining our commitment to the ethical use of funds, and a commitment to non-influence of the funding sources over the scientific aspects of funded projects and TOS as a whole.“
Lastly they stipulated,
“TOS should seek funding from as wide a variety of donors as possible.“
Many, myself included, felt that without explicitly saying so, these guidelines were designed as a means to open the door for TOS to seek and take money from the food industry.
Shortly thereafter TOS struck their, “Food Industry Outreach Task Force“, which seems to have morphed into their “Food Industry Engagement Council“, the most recent meeting of which included representatives from Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Dr. Pepper and Ocean Spray. There appears to be no doubt that TOS meant what they said back in early 2013.
To be clear, I’m all for dialogue, debate, and discussion with the food industry, but I just can’t support taking their money, formally working with them on joint projects, or giving them votes at tables. To be sure, in these difficult fiscal times, for public health organizations, the benefit of food industry partnerships is funding. But partnerships of course need to benefit both parties, and for the food industry, partnering with health organizations has much to offer. Public health partnerships provide the food industry with high gloss brand polish, they may lead to direct or indirect co-branded sales, they may confer undeserved positive emotional brand associations, they may silence or soften industry or product criticism, they may provide industry with ammunition to fight industry unfriendly legislative efforts, and they necessitate that the partnered public health group water down public health messaging that may conflict with their partnered private industries’ bottom lines.
Put plainly, a public company cannot invest in a group, program, or intervention that in turn would ultimately serve to decrease sales more than not being involved in that same group, program, or intervention. Doing so would not only be an affront to their shareholders, it’d be grounds for their lawsuits.
Let’s hope I’m wrong in thinking history won’t look kindly on these partnerships, that public-health efforts won’t be hindered by them, and that instead I’ll look back one day and think I made much ado about nothing, but until then, while I’ll still likely see you at Obesity Week, this is why I’ll no longer be sporting a “TOS Member” ribbon on my badge.
Read time: 8 mins
In an age of “fake news” and disinformation, in which climate science deniers have been elected to the head of some of the world’s largest governments, the UN climate talks continue to act as a stage for those who wish to cast doubt on the climate crisis.
And in Katowice, Poland, where the UN climate talks — known as COP24 — are underway, it was no different. A small group of climate science deniers tried to grab attention by hosting an event on the fringe of the conference, claiming to “present the science that debunks UN alarmism”.
But this year, very few were paying attention.
Do you remember your Worst Sleep Ever? Man, I sure do. I tell you, it was back when I was in college and a few friends and I drove a skiddy van across a snowy highway in the middle of a blizzard to crash with my friend Chad. It was a cold weekend full of […]
The post #631 Coming back to your own bed after a long trip away appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 6 mins
By Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home News.
A deal in Poland that draws a hard line between developed and developing countries may be unacceptable to future administrations — Democratic or Republican.
UN climate talks this fortnight could determine whether a post-Trump U.S. president would rejoin the Paris Agreement, according to two former top Obama officials.
Time is an illusion. Baby, we’re all just spinning, gninnips, spinning. Electrons spinning in our tall, fleshy bodies, spinning on our big, wet rock, spinning in our bright, white solar system, spinning in our deep, dark galaxy, spinning in our brain-bustingly big universe. Listen, this never ending swirly-twirly headtrip can be a bit much sometimes, […]
Read time: 8 mins
Roughly four years ago, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) filed a federal application to build a 1,172 mile oil pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale across the U.S. to Illinois at a projected cost of $3.8 billion.
Before that application was filed, on September 30, 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met with ETP to express concerns about the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) and fears of water contamination. Though the company, now known as Energy Transfer, had re-routed a river crossing to protect the state capital of Bismarck against oil spills, it apparently turned a deaf ear to the Tribe’s objections.
Following that approach proved to be a very costly decision, a new analysis concludes, with ETP, banks, and investors taking billions in losses as a result.
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques in spacewalk training at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas. (Photo: NASA)
Learning to survive the Russian wilderness in winter with the most basic of survival kits and diving almost 20 metres into an underwater lab to spend days in cramped quarters with your colleagues are just a few of the challenges of being an astronaut. Everything you do, every mistake you make, is evaluated even as you push yourself physically and emotionally. Is it enough to make it into space? You’ll only know when you get the assignment.
As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2015.
I was amazed by the uproar the publication of a Dairy Farmers of Canada funded chocolate milk study inspired last week. The study, “Impact of the removal of chocolate milk from school milk programs for children in Saskatoon, Canada“, at least according to the breathless press release and the resulting press coverage apparently concluded, “it’s chocolate milk, or no milk at all for many children“, and while it’s no surprise given the funding that the spin was chocolate milk positive (including the study’s mind-numbing use of the word, “enhanced” to describe sugar-sweetened milk), after reading the actual study, I’m beyond gobsmacked.
The study methodology was pretty straight forward. For 4 weeks they offered elementary school children both chocolate milk and white milk and measured how much of each they drank and how much went to waste. Next, they stopped providing the chocolate milk for 4 more weeks and kept measuring. Lastly, they brought back the chocolate milk option for a final 4 weeks of measurements.
Now hold onto your hats. As readers of the press are likely to already know the study found,
“the children waste more milk when it’s plain.“
How much more waste you ask? Just 4/5ths of a tablespoon more a day. Yup, if you actually read the study you find out that when chocolate milk disappeared the kids drank a scant 12mL less per day than they did when chocolate milk was available. If these numbers continued, kids who drank milk would drink about a cup less milk a month for a grand total of just 9.6 fewer cups over the course of their entire chocolate milk free 200 day school year.
Or would they? What about the kids who stopped drinking milk altogether because they could no longer get chocolate? Well when the researchers tried to quantify total daily consumption of milk for all students they found,
“that students’ total milk intake at home, or milk consumption at school, did not change across the study phases.“
The researchers also found,
“that on average students were meeting the 3–4 servings per day recommended by Canada’s Food Guide for 9- to 13-year-olds“
and that school milk only accounted for 13%–15% of total dairy consumed.
What else did the researchers find? Well if you want a non-Dairy Farmers of Canada “enhanced” spin on things, the researchers also found that in just the first month following the removal of school chocolate milk the number of students drinking white milk increased by 466%! A number which might well have increased further over time as palates and norms in the schools changed. And what happens to former chocolate milk drinkers when they swap Beatrice 1% chocolate milk for Beatrice 2% white? Well over the course of each week they’ll drink 22 fewer teaspoons of added sugar and over the course of a 200 day school year, 14,000 fewer calories and 19 fewer cups of added sugar.
So to sum up. The study found that taking chocolate milk out of schools did not affect the students’ total daily milk or dairy consumption, that on average all students were meeting their daily recommended amounts of dairy (recommendations which by the way are almost certainly higher than the evidence would suggest they need be), that kids who swapped from chocolate milk to white milk drank pretty much the same amount of white as they did chocolate (unless you think 4/5ths of a tablespoon of milk is a lot), and that by removing chocolate milk from the school, in the first month alone nearly half of the initial chocolate milk drinkers switched to white and in so doing, saved themselves piles of calories and the nearly 2 full cups of monthly added chocolate milk sugar.
If anything this study lends very strong support for those thinking schools shouldn’t be offering sugar sweetened milk to students.
Clearly the reporters didn’t bother to actually read the study. Shouldn’t they have?
Craig Brumwell, pictured here at Salt Spring Island, teaches Grade 10 and 11 social studies and Grade 12 geography at Kitsilano Secondary School in Vancouver.
Craig Brumwell has been continuously innovating his teaching approach over the past 30 years that he’s been at Kitsilano Secondary School in Vancouver. Technology plays a pivotal role in his classroom and a few years ago he created a mobile documentary game called “Kit’s Fallen” to teach his students about their school’s history during the Second War World.