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#IfYouServeItWeWillEatIt Vegetarian Conference Food Nudge RCT Edition

Posted December 9, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

As I’ve noted before (usually in the context of soda and junk food) if you serve it, we will eat it, even if the ‘we’ are a bunch of medical or dietetic professionals.

But what happens if you serve healthier fare? And what happens if you give people a little nudge towards it?

A recent study sought to explore that and prior to 3 conferences, randomized attendees into receiving one of the following two options to consider for their lunch choices

Group 1 (this was the non-vegetarian default ask): At the conference a non-vegetarian buffet will be served for lunch. Please state here if you would like to have a vegetarian dish prepared for you: __________________________________.

Group 2 (this was the vegetarian default ask): At the conference a vegetarian buffet will be served for lunch. Please state here if you would like to have a non-vegetarian dish prepared for you:__________________________________.

You know what happened next.

At all 3 conferences, whatever was highlighted as the default lunch option was chosen by the vast majority for lunch.

At the first conference, the vegetarian choice increased from 2% to 87%. At the second conference it increased from 6% to 86%. And at the third conference it increased from 12.5% to 89%.

You know what would have certainly led to even higher numbers? No non-vegetarian options. And to be clear, I’m not suggesting vegetarian diets are a panacea, there are plenty of unhealthy vegetarian foods, but this simple study illustrates the power afforded to conference organizers in terms of what’s being served and how it’s being presented to attendees. The same of course would be true of any venue where meals and/or snacks are presented.

Given we eat what we’re served, it seems to me to be a straightforward expectation, at least for medical and dietetic conferences, that we’re served healthy options.

[Thanks to my friend and colleague David Nunan for sharing this study with me, and you should follow him on Twitter if you don’t already]

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“Send us your money and everything will be just fine”

Posted December 4, 2019 by Anonymous

I’m very glad to see that Canadian authorities are taking these scams seriously: A Burnaby, B.C., man has been identified as a suspect in an RCMP investigation into organized crime groups;accused of scamming Canadians by posing as Canada Revenue Agency…

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Dear @OttawaCitizen, Your 83 Word Byline Free Drink Milk “Artice” Isn’t Journalism And It Contributes to Scientific Illiteracy

Posted December 2, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

Now to be clear, I’m not a journalist, though I have written my fair share of articles for various publications (including the Ottawa Citizen).

What I would never have submitted, let alone gotten away with, would be an 83 word (truly, that pic above is all there is), byline free, advertorial replete with a large photo promoting milk consumption in the name of Vitamin D and calcium citing a “report” that urged Canadians to drink milk, and mentioning “experts” three times, without actually naming the report or the experts.

Though I’m not sure which report the 83 words is referring to, my friend and PhD/RD Dr. Kevin Klatt (who you should absolutely be following on Twitter) was able to steer me to this study looking at non-dairy milk consumption and vitamin D levels in Canadian children which clearly demonstrates drinking non-cow’s milk leads to lower, but still fine, vitamin D status markers.

He noted, as actually cited experts should, that vitamin D’s daily recommended intake (DRI) levels were derived from intake studies performed in very high northern latitudes so as to remove the confounding issue of sunlight, and that consequently daily recommended intake levels are far more than are necessary to maintain safe vitamin D levels for everywhere but the far north. He also pointed out,

there’s not very strong evidence to suggest that not consuming milk places one at risk of having Vitamin D status in the range of insufficiency.

And though it may surprise you given the certainty of the 83 words up above, the data on dietary intake and Vitamin D are so limited that anyone who has concerns about their vitamin D status, regardless of whether they drink milk or not, should have their levels checked and not simply assume milk will be magical. Or better yet, not try to drink their way to higher levels of Vitamin D if they’re concerned and simply take supplements (with meals if this is your plan as Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin)

Given the full court press the Canadian dairy industry has been making since our new Food Guide rightfully relegated dairy to simply a source of protein rather than suggest it is a unique food group, I can’t help but wonder if this published seeming advertorial is consequent to their efforts and overtures, and while it might play to at least 50 years of Canadian dairy marketing, the Ottawa Citizen should know better than to simply pass along uncritical food takes suggesting magic benefits to specific foods to a population primed to believe them.

(Thanks to my friend and colleague Andrew Kujavsky for sending the photo of the article my way)

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Toronto’s SickKids Hospital New Oreos Fundraising Campaign

Posted November 27, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

Because of course they are.

SickKids hospital has never shied away from junk food fundraising and their latest campaign sees them working with food giant Mondelez to promote the sale of Oreo cookies.

Mondelez of course is thrilled and sees this partnership as,

a first step in a long-term partnership that will “allow for even more collaborative opportunities across portfolios and brands

The partnership also benefits Dairy Farmers of Canada who are likely running damage control following the release of a Food Guide that rightly de-emphasized milk’s unique importance in our diets and removed  our prior Guide’s explicit recommendations around its consumption and instead simply included dairy in the protein foods grouping.

Dairy Farmers are likely worried about the impact the Food Guide’s changes will have on their lucrative school milk programs and perhaps that’s what underlying their stated campaign rationale of “helping kids reach their full potential”, which no doubt will have more weight with SickKids’ push.

Apparently the campaign will include, “TV, cinema, digital, social media and public relations“, and there’s zero doubt that industry’s expectations are despite the campaigns likely huge costs, they’ll enjoy a return on their investment, either by way of direct sales, or by protecting current initiatives (like school milk programs).

As to what’s in it for Sick Kids, of course it’s just money. No doubt too that the amount of money SickKids is likely to get by way of fundraising with cookies, will be a fraction of what will be spent on the campaign to which they’re lending their name and integrity to market them.

No doubt too, if this were about altruism for the Mondelez and Dairy Farmers, they’d just cut cheques.

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Great tweets of the day – animal twitter edition

Posted November 27, 2019 by Anonymous

Some great animal tweets: 

Snowplow for hire

— Aussies Doing Things (@aussiesdointhgs) November 26, 2019

I like this video

— Attractive Nature 🌿 (@NatureAttracts) November 26, 2019

Tom and Jerry

Maybe the cat should leave this rat alone 🤣🤣🤣

— ༻⋆≺ Martin 🏳️‍🌈 ≻⋆༺ (@KlatuBaradaNiko) November 23, 2019

And I couldn’t resist including this one too:

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 22, 2019

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Great tweets of the day: All Trump edition

Posted November 24, 2019 by Anonymous

I really do enjoy twitter for all the wit that people share.

And with Trump in the White House, there’s lots to be witty about:

If there is a Trump Library, it will be at Leavenworth.

— David Neiwert (@DavidNeiwert) November 20, 2019


“It’s like every five minutes a new warhead lands on Trump’s dick.”

— Martin Longman (@BooMan23) November 16, 2019

Sometimes I miss being young, when the only monsters were the ones I imagined living in the closet or hiding under the bed, rather than sitting in the Oval Office and walking the halls of our nation’s Congress.

— Abraxsys (@Abraxsys) November 23, 2019

Meanwhile, at the White House…

— Abraxsys (@Abraxsys) November 23, 2019

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Who’s training who?

Posted November 23, 2019 by Anonymous

My sister is training one of our dogs for rally obedience and things are going pretty well, I think. Our Molly is a bit of a handful, but my sister really knows her stuff.  

But I must tell her about the tweet I saw today:

Me: wow these meat chunks are a great tool to finally train my dog to come back

My dog: wow coming back is a great tool to finally train this idiot to give me chunks of meat

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) November 23, 2019

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Today in impeachment

Posted November 20, 2019 by Anonymous

What a day for the impeachment inquiry!  I’m biased of course, but I don’t think Devin Nunes got anywhere with his stupid “boooooring!” comments.  Of course the narrative is complicated and the questions and testimony got into the weeds sometimes, but it was fascinating all the same.

Vindman and Williams were stunning and impressive in standing up for principles.  
Then came Volker and Morrison — and I didn’t realize until I read some of the news stories later that they were supposed to be testifying FOR Trump!  With friends like these….. 
Volker came across as well-meaning but naive, while Morrison tried his best but could only babble on about how the president sets foreign policy — nobody is saying that Trump doesn’t have this authority, just that he based his so-called “policy” on corruption and personal advantage — and in the end even Morrison had to admit that he couldn’t support what Trump had tried to do to the Ukraine.
And I thought many parts of Morrison’s testimony were ridiculous —  he said the July 25 call was fine, just FINE. completely proper — except that somehow it was also so potentially “politically damaging” that he had to talk to White House lawyers about it right away. And he said Vindman shouldn’t have talked to those same lawyers because it was inefficient to have two people talking to them.  And he said the call transcript had been put into the Super Double Secret Probation server because of “administrative error” — oh, really?
I thought this comment from Schiff was great:

Shorter: Trump got caught, someone blew the whistle. and THAT is what Trump and his Republicans are upset about.
God, I hope Americans will rid themselves of that man and his whole corrupt administration.

— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 (@CathieCanada) November 20, 2019

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Great tweets of the day

Posted November 16, 2019 by Anonymous

Beluga Whale playing some rugby

— Animal Life (@animalIife) November 9, 2019

Any hope of getting my prowl on today is #BuriedUnderTheSnow. #CatsOfTwitter

— 🐾Beware of Dogma🐾 (@ellelljaytoo) November 16, 2019


“It’s like every five minutes a new warhead lands on Trump’s dick.”

— Martin Longman (@BooMan23) November 16, 2019

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“I’m not racist! How dare you say that?”

Posted November 13, 2019 by Anonymous
Those of you calling for Stephen Miller to be fired by the White House because he has been revealed (again) to be a white supremacist do not understand that’s the reason why he was hired.

— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) November 12, 2019

Employers favor men not because they are prejudiced against women, but because they have the perception that men perform better on average at certain tasks.

— Quartz (@qz) November 12, 2019

There’s something bizarre about the way some people define “racism” (and sexism, and homophobia, etc, but I’ll just use “racism” as a shorthand to mean all of these things.)

They recognize it, and condemn it, but just cannot admit that they, themselves, could do it.  Its an odd form of “othering” where the “other” is actually an uncomfortable part of their own personality.

So they can say “I’m not racist, I just don’t like black people” (or Aboriginal people or Asian people or whoever) of “I’m not sexist, I just don’t think women can do things as well as men can” or “I’m not homophobic, I just don’t like gay people”. And they remain blithely ignorant of their own racist impulses and behaviour. 
You see, they KNOW that being racist is bad.  So it makes them VERY uncomfortable to think of themselves as racists.  So when they DO racist things and THINK racist thoughts, they have to tell themselves there is actually nothing wrong with what they did or thought because their motives are pure and their actions are just.  They take refuge in the belief that they are actually just telling the truth.
So Don Cherry can talk about “you people”.  And Trump can say there are “good people” on “both sides” of Charlottesville.  And neither of them will ever even think they have said anything racist, because after all they don’t think of themselves as racists. Today, we see pundits who are actually surprised that Stephen Miller has been “revealed” to be a white supremacist.  Of course he is — who else would come up with a government policy to imprison 70,000 immigrant children? Only a racist could ever think up something so grotesque and cruel, and then get upset to be booed out of a Mexican restaurant.
Here’s the tell — racists think we all actually secretly agree with them. They think we just don’t admit it because we’re all Politically Correct cowards, whereas the racists are courageous truth-tellers.  “Now admit it, you know I’m right!” is what they will say. 
Image result for racism cartoons
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Great tweet of the day

Posted November 12, 2019 by Anonymous

“missed me, you big stripy fuck”


— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) November 10, 2019

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Maybe now I can watch hockey again

Posted November 11, 2019 by Anonymous
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Lest we forget

Posted November 10, 2019 by Anonymous

Chief Petty Officer Margaret Louise Byam — my mother.  I have often wondered now why she did it, but she died before I thought to ask her.  A small-town Prairie girl, the youngest of four daughters, she joined the Wrens during World War…

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They don’t know what they don’t know

Posted November 8, 2019 by Anonymous

We just saw it here, and now its happening in the States as well.Its the perception by journalists and opinion pundits that they “know” where the general public is at, and therefore that they can just pull voting predictions out of their ass — instead…

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Not My Leader!! Jagmeet Singh Must Go!!!

Posted November 6, 2019 by Anonymous
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Great tweets of the day

Posted November 2, 2019 by Anonymous

Boy, people are really getting pissed off these days! Its very entertaining, really:

Clocks going back 57 minutes in Alberta after 5% cut by UCP government. #AbLeg

— Alan T Perry (@AlanTPerry) November 3, 2019

And he’s an Anglican priest!

You’re an idiot. Truly.

— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) November 2, 2019

And he used to be the Director of the CIA

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TPL heebie-jeebies and the Fa’a Samoa

Posted October 30, 2019 by Anonymous

Let me be clear: when it comes to Meghan Murphy and her followers at the Toronto Public Library versus the protesters outside, I stand with the protesters. Now, let me be less clear. At this point, I’m beginning to…

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Wexit: The Moose In The Room

Posted October 24, 2019 by Balbulican

Just in time for Halloween, the recent Liberal expulsion from the West has injected new life into Western Separatism, one of Canada’s favourite political zombies, now lurching back to life under the catchy Brexit-inspired trademark “Wexit”. Because who can’t look…

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Plastic tea-bag particles, Venus was habitable, driver memory fail, earliest North American migrants, Plants ‘terraformed’ the Earth

Posted September 27, 2019 by Anonymous

“Please note: We are discontinuing our segmented podcast feed. Please subscribe to the whole show feed.”

New plastic tea-bags shed billions of tiny particles into the cup; Venus is a hellscape now, but might once have been blue like Earth; Lethal memo…

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Quirks & Quarks women in science special — How science has done women wrong

Posted September 20, 2019 by Anonymous

Please note: We are discontinuing our segmented podcast feed. Please subscribe to the whole show feed.

The glass obstacle course: Why so few women hold the top spots in STEM disciplines; Women’s brains ARE built for science. Modern neuroscience explodes an old myth; Women and science suffer when medical research doesn’t study females.

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Ground zero for dinosaur extinction, space archeology, toes on the brain, Finding a lost jet engine on Greenland, mystery of the wandering whales and barren tablelands

Posted September 13, 2019 by Anonymous

Please note: We are discontinuing our segmented podcast feed. Please subscribe to the whole show feed.

Rocks recovered from ground zero reveal how the dinosaurs died; Archaeology from space – discovering history from a few hundred kilometres up; A jumbo jet lost an engine over Greenland — these researchers found it; The toes of foot painters are mapped in the brain as if they were fingers; Why are right whales roaming into danger off the East coast?; Why are the Tablelands of Gros Morne National Park barren?

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The Political Excommunication of Erin Weir Betrays the Face of Modern Political Cowardice

Posted September 11, 2019 by Anonymous

By Eric Cline
Former Saskatchewan New Democrat Minister of Justice

Erin Weir is not well-known outside of Canada. Even many Canadian readers won’t recognize the politician’s name. But the story of how he was smeared and excommunicated by his own political party presents a stunning indictment of political cowardice in the age of #MeToo. And what happened to him could happen to virtually anyone who runs for office.
Weir is a federal Member of Parliament (MP), having been elected in 2015 to represent the Saskatchewan riding of Regina-Lewvan. He ran in that election as a candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP), which sits to the political left of Justin Trudeau’s governing Liberals, and constitutes the third-largest party in the Canadian parliament. His downfall began on January 30, 2018, the day he announced his candidacy for NDP caucus chair by sending an email to other NDP MPs, and to the leader of the federal NDP, Jagmeet Singh (who, at the time, had not yet become a Member of Parliament). The email set off a chain of events that eventually led to his expulsion from the NDP caucus, and stripped him of the opportunity to stand as a candidate for the party in the upcoming Fall, 2019, federal election. Under the Canadian political system, party leaders are free to unilaterally block candidates, no matter the views of voters or the rank-and-file. Without party affiliation, Weir’s political career is effectively over.
Weir’s undoing was the work of Christine Moore, an NDP MP for the Quebec riding of Abitibi-Temiscamingue. In a reply-all email responding to Weir’s expressed interest in becoming caucus chair, she wrote that she could never support him because “there are too many women (mostly employee[s]) who complained to me that you were harassing to them.” She then added: “As a woman, I would not feel comfortable to meet with you alone.”
Like Weir, Moore was not well-known—except insofar as she already had helped ruin the career of two MPs in Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party after advancing claims that they, too, were sexual harassers (a subject discussed in more detail below). And her new accusation would have come as a surprise (and still does) to anyone who knows Weir, a 37-year-old economist who once worked for the Canadian section of the United Steelworkers union.
Continue Reading

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Quirks & Quarks ‘science in the field’ special — the summer adventures of scientists working in exotic and remote locations

Posted September 6, 2019 by Anonymous

Please note: We are discontinuing our segmented feed. Please subscribe to the whole show feed.

Dodging venomous vipers and plant poachers to study how climate change impacts insects; Searching for dinosaurs in BC’s rockies — and finding grizzly bears instead; When the desert doesn’t bloom fake flowers are a scientist’s solution; A moment of distraction leads to near disaster while studying insects in a tropical paradise; Projectile vomiting birds are among the challenges in studying arctic lakes.

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National Post Publishes Correction

Posted August 9, 2019 by bigcitylib

BOOYAH!  JOB DONE!  The Natty Post corrects in response to this story:

Editor’s note: In the original article, Michael Rogers intended to say “early evolutionary ancestors” instead of Neanderthals when speaking about the agricultural revolution. As well, he intended to say there’s no anthropological evidence of Type 2 diabetes, not Type 1. All changes have been made in his quotes. 

Not even sure the phrase “early evolutionary ancestors” cuts it science-wise in this context but fuck it I’m in  a good mood.  We’ll let it go.  Kudos to Bianca Bharti for fixing things and being a good sport about it.  As for Doc Rogers, well they say he is from the University of Guelph.  I had a friend who went there.  When I asked him what it was like he said Guelph is the sound a whale makes when it swallows.  I don’t know what that means but I don’t think its a compliment.

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National Post Publishes Absolute Bullshit Re Beyond Meat

Posted August 8, 2019 by bigcitylib

The absolute bullshit is this bit:

“For the last million years, we’ve evolved with a very specific diet that’s been based on whole foods,” [Michael] Rogers said. “There hasn’t been a change in our diets this drastic in all of human evolution with the exception of one event in human history: when the Neanderthals ventured from forests into pastoral land and started … agricultural practices,” more than 12,000 years ago.

I don’t know who Michael Rogers is, but this kind of quote is the kind of thing that makes you think he isn’t much of an expert.  I mean, the timing of wheat domestication is about right, a couple thousand years too early, maybe.  But the species is wrong.  The last Neanderthals walked maybe 40,000 years before crops were domesticated, unless Mr. Rogers knows something nobody else does.

Seriously, this is a big fat fucking boner of a mistake: Neanderthals invented agriculture.  BULLSHIT!!!   That the NP published it without  fact checking is embarrassing.  And if you are trying to criticize alt-meat, making this kind of claim isn’t going to help.

PS.  I have never tried a Beyond Meat product nor do I have an opinion on the company.

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Obsession-Worthy Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

Posted June 29, 2019 by Angela (Oh She Glows)

Many years ago, I was reading a blog post by a blogger I’d been following for a while. She wrote about a recent struggle with depression and her honest words made such an impact on me. I remember thinking how brave it was for her to tell her story. While I hated that she was […]

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted June 29, 2019 by Angela (Oh She Glows)

photo credit: Ashley McLaughlin  Comments (2) | Share on Facebook | Tweet | Pin It | Snapchat | © copyright 2019 Oh She Glows. All Rights Reserved.

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The Once-Gweat Wabble of Wowdy Webels…

Posted June 21, 2019 by Balbulican

It’s been been a while since I checked in on my favourite “fearless source of news, opinion, and activism that you can’t find anywhere else”. I was therefore shocked – shocked! – to discover that the Rebel appears in the…

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Trans Mountain Pipeline Approved

Posted June 18, 2019 by bigcitylib

…but far from built. I’ve talked about this  before.  My opinion is that Trudeau did the right thing by approving the pipeline.  You can’t really rule this country if the entire middle bit hates your guts because you took away the…

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“Have I read anything you’ve written?”

Posted June 10, 2019 by Marijke Vroomen-Durning

I’ve been asked a few times, “Have I read anything you’ve written?” My first smart-ass instinct is to reply, “I don’t know, what do you read?” But I don’t. Because for some people, meeting a writer is surprising. They don’t know what to say and that’s …

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Mann Wins!!!! Frontier Centre for Public Policy FOLDS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted June 7, 2019 by bigcitylib

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Mann for successfully putting the boots to Winnipeg’s Frontier Centre for Public Policy.  They defamed him; he fought back and won.  See their grovelling apology below.  Bask in their tears.  &nbs…

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Infection Following Natural Disasters – Take Care

Posted June 2, 2019 by Marijke Vroomen-Durning

Following every natural disaster, we see television news and online videos of destruction. Images of destroyed homes, cars and trucks flipped over, and boats well inland instead of in the water, show us the massive damage nature can cause. But for the thousands who are living through the seemingly unprecedented number of tornadoes, serious storms, and flooding, it’s not a video. It’s very real. The disasters are leaving thousands of families uprooted, with some losing loved ones.

But after the storms have passed over and the waters have receded, after the news cameras leave and people stop taking videos, the residents are left with not only putting their lives back together, but with the potential of serious illness or injury, after the fact.

While the emergency is occurring, the most important issue is survival. This means taking cover or evacuating. But once the imminent threat has left, other dangers may lurk. From broken water and sewage systems to terrified wild animals, survivors may be exposed to dangers they’ve never faced before.

Infection following a natural disaster is common in many areas. Infections can spread quickly in crowded shelters. People who walk around the disaster area can injure themselves by tripping on debris. They can cut themselves while trying to move things or be hit by material that may still be falling. Frightened pets and wild animals may be driven into unfamiliar territory and may bite.

With so many tornadoes touching down in North America this spring, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the topic. A while ago, I wrote about the connection between national disasters for Sepsis Alliance, an organization I work with. If you would like to read more about the types of infections that could follow a natural disaster, visit Sepsis and Natural Disasters, found on the Sepsis Alliance website.

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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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Just a Coincidence the Final Episode Airs This Weekend?

Posted May 18, 2019 by Balbulican
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Dementia: It’s More Than Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted May 13, 2019 by Marijke Vroomen-Durning

Say the word “dementia,” and most people think about Alzheimer’s disease. We can’t blame them; Alzheimer’s disease affects almost 6 million Americans and many millions more across the world. It is the most common cause of dementia. But d…

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Do Celebrities Owe Us Health Information? Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, for example

Posted May 6, 2019 by Marijke Vroomen-Durning

It’s all over the news – a new royal has been born. Prince Harry’s glowing announcement of his son’s birth was delightful. He was awed and in love. But how much does he owe the public about the details and photos, and everything else people want to kno…

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The Impenetrable Genius of Donald J. Trump

Posted May 2, 2019 by Anonymous

[(A guest blogpost by my slightly right-of-centre friend Peter. Enjoy. Discuss. ~DD)] Nobody really likes him. At least, nobody will publicly defend his character and integrity. He has no discernible political principles. He is a vainglorious boaster and moral alley-cat…

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