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Stuff to Check Out: Post Easter Edition

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  deansomerset

I hope everyone had a great time over Easter and Passover. We kept it pretty low key since it decided to snow and drop below freezing for most of the weekend, and everyone of our family members in the city were simultaneously sick. Workshops Registration is now open for speaking events in Kansas City, Calgary,…… Read More

The post Stuff to Check Out: Post Easter Edition appeared first on DeanSomerset.com.

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Trailers From Hell: “Annie Hall” (1977)

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Trailers From Hell: “Annie Hall” (1977)

I basically know this movie by heart. It was a very big deal for me when I was 13 (while the rest of you were wasting your time with Star Wars.) That was probably a bad thing in retrospect, but I’ve mostly outgrown any negative side effects. I think. More from my siteTrailers From Hell: […]

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Screen Junkies: “Who is the Greatest Director of The 1970s?”

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Screen Junkies: “Who is the Greatest Director of The 1970s?”

More from my siteScreen Junkies: What’s the greatest summer blockbuster ever?‘Streisand Effect’ takes on new meaning with 1970s kinky pseudo biker porn pixScreen Junkies: “Star Wars vs Star Trek! – MOVIE FIGHTS!”Screen Junkies: Fake Movies In Movies (Supercut)

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Reading Mark Steyn on the songs of Burt Bacharach…

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Reading Mark Steyn on the songs of Burt Bacharach…

…the only thing I can think of, pre-coffee, is how much I admire Bacharach’s (and Mack David’s) theme song for The Blob. Imagine being a jobbing songwriter, and getting stuck with that assignment. And still coming up with something that perfectly disguises what must have been his considerable distress and disgust. I can’t help but admire […]

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Jim Goad on the latest “even babies are racist” “studies”

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Jim Goad on the latest “even babies are racist” “studies”

Jim Goad writes: But the natural-born instinct for “group survival”—at least when manifested among whites—has been twisted into a mental pathology of the highest order, the Original Sin of our times. In other words, the anti-racist and decidedly anti-scientific activists “have meddled with the primal forces of nature,” and it won’t end well for them, […]

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Hey MDs, Scales Measure Gravity, Not Health, And Not Lifestyle

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Today’s guest post comes from long-time reader Sarah Trend who shared with me the handout she received on leaving her most recent endocrinology appointment. She also provided me with her thoughts and she also kindly agreed to let me share them with you. All this to say, if you’re an MD the only thing your patient’s weight tells you is the gravitational pull of the earth on them at a given moment in time. It tells you nothing about the presence or absence of health, nor does it tell you anything about their lifestyles. And if you’re planning on providing lifestyle related advice, best you explore your patients’ actual lifestyles first – regardless of their weights. Plenty of people with higher weights have incredibly healthful lifestyles, and many people with lower weights live awfully unhealthy lives.

I went to the endocrinologist this morning. The PA had me step on the scale and she recorded my weight. There was no discussion whatsoever with her or with the doctor about my weight. Imagine my surprise when I reviewed the “follow up” instructions – photo attached.

For the record, I weigh about 5 lb more than their “long term goal weight“. I am 5’8”. Had there been any discussion whatsoever, the doctor would have learned that the “weight loss tips” are not of much value to me: I only drink water. I do not eat fast food. I eat breakfast (hard-boiled egg and some fruit) every morning. I watch, at most, one 30-minute TV show a day. My husband does all grocery shopping. We cook >95% of our meals at home (from scratch, not boxes) and I take leftovers for lunch every day. Many of these meals are vegetarian. I get 4-5 hours of vigorous exercise every week – in fact, before my appointment I ran 3.25 miles at a pace of 9:22/mile. I only take the stairs at work. I get >10K steps each day.

Also, my blood pressure, as taken by his PA in the appointment, is 91/56.

So yes, I would really like to lose 10-15 vanity pounds, but that is all they are – vanity pounds. And yes, my weight is a few pounds above a BMI of 25. Had he had a conversation with me, he would have learned that I worked 61 straight 12-16 hour days at the start of this year. Some days, yeah, I grabbed a bag of peanut M&Ms or skittles from the snack cupboard in the office. Because I’m a human. And also – my period is due, so I’m up about 3 pounds of water weight from that.

I am so angry. Is this what passes for medical advice now? Meaningless random comments about weight loss with no conversation about health? I am appalled that an endocrinologist (who presumably sees patients with a variety of weight issues) thinks this is appropriate. Thought you might like to see it.

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Waterloo astronomers create first image of dark matter

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Anonymous

In the time since dark matter was first hypothesized in 1922, it’s been a substance of mere theory; the matter doesn’t shine, reflect or absorb light, so astronomers could not see it. Until now.

Astronomers at the University of Waterloo have published the first image of dark matter. It confirms theories that there’s a web of dark matter between galaxies.

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French Elections: Alt-Right, Total and Gold Mines, the Story Behind the Candidates’ Environmental Policies

Posted  April 17, 2017  by  Anonymous
French flag

France, the birthplace of the Paris Agreement, is a week away from the first round of its presidential election on April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been side-lined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climate leadership.

The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news”, Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims and growing concerns of Russian interference.

Many in France are still deciding who to vote for in one of the most unpredictable elections yet. If no candidate wins a majority on April 23, a second election round featuring the top two candidates will take place on May 7.

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Part 5: 150 Years of Canadian Aerospace History

Posted  April 16, 2017  by  Chuck Black

The International Geophysical Year, the Avro Arrow & Jetliner, Lapp, Stehling, Bull & Blue Streak

         By Robert Godwin

Craphic c/o Canada Post.

Canada’s aerospace raison d’être has always derived from its immense size, its location in the far north as a vast, barely-tracked wilderness of incalculable resources and the logical requirements relating to defence, communications, utilization and exploration which naturally follow from its size and location.

In 1955 President Eisenhower announced that the United States would contribute to the 75th anniversary of the International Polar Year by launching an orbiting satellite. This new scientific global initiative was to be called the International Geophysical Year (IGY) because scientists would now study the whole planet, rather than just the polar regions. Kurt Stehling was now in Princeton New Jersey working for the Naval Research Laboratory and he was assigned to be chief of propulsion on the as-yet untested launch vehicle for the proposed IGY satellite.

Russia had played a significant role in the two previous IPY events and it was only logical that its successor, the Soviet Union, would do the same. Soviet scientists informed their western counterparts at the Copenhagen International Astronautical Congress that they would be attempting their own satellite launch, but despite these comments the Western world was utterly stunned when on October 4th 1957 the world’s first spacecraft, Sputnik, went soaring into orbit.

In Malton Ontario, on that very same day, thousands of Canadian aerospace workers were distracted by their own remarkable achievement. The roll-out of Canada’s latest, home-grown, fighter-interceptor; designated the CF-105, or Avro Arrow.

Designed by a team of some of the brightest and best engineers in the world, the Arrow was like something from the future. It was packed from stem to stern with the latest aerospace technology and, should it live up to expectations, it represented a truly giant leap forward in aviation. But the Cold War was in full swing and while the Arrow may have been futuristic, the Soviet’s little metal ball passing overhead at 25 times the speed of sound stole the limelight.

Phil Lapp, the U of T engineer who had gone to MIT, had spent much of his early career flying across the Canadian wilderness, mapping and recording mineral deposits and other potential resources. By the 1950s he had assumed an important role at de Havilland in Downsview and as soon as he heard about Sputnik he resolved to create an in-house group to look at the very-real new science of astronautics. He called his group the Canadian Astronautical Society and they held their first full meeting at the de Havilland Missile Division on January 8th 1958.

Lapp’s group spent the next year working up proposals for high-altitude rockets and satellite tracking facilities. They built Canada’s first space tracking station using spare parts and donated money and used it to keep an eye on the sudden flurry of American and Soviet satellites.

The United States government had launched its first satellite at the end of January 1958; seven weeks later the Navy rocket which Kurt Stehling had been working on, launched Vanguard 1 into an orbit that was expected to last 1000 years. Later that summer the United States consolidated its efforts into a civilian space agency named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), based on the recommendations of the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel. This small group of scientists included Stehling, who was now writing science papers on almost a monthly basis, ranging on subjects as diverse as ion propulsion to relativistic time dilatation.

In April 1958 it was revealed that Gerald Bull’s oxygen-hydrogen gun experiments at CARDE were being considered as a second stage for a Canadian satellite launch. The plan was to place the satellite atop a lightweight version of Bull’s gun and place the satellite and gun combination on an American Redstone missile. The press dubbed the plan “Canucknik.” Although there is no doubt that the technology existed, Defence Minister George Pearkes and Brigadier Waldock, who ran CARDE, were quick to deny the reports. Canada’s satellite would have to wait.

In the summer of 1958 Phil Lapp sent the Canadian Astronautical Society secretary, Arthur Maine, to attend the International Astronautical Congress in Amsterdam. While there, Maine came into contact with the British de Havilland missile engineers who were working on a long range ballistic missile named the Blue Streak. After much discussion it was decided that the Blue Streak might be used as the basis for a Commonwealth Space Program. Maine reported back to Lapp that Canada should get involved immediately in this proposal and inaugurate a third contestant in the space race.

At this moment in history governments around the world had become obsessed with the notion that missiles would soon make aircraft obsolete. Missile divisions had already started to evolve to meet this new challenge and Canada had stayed in this arena by building increasingly advanced guidance mechanisms for air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

By the end of 1958 the Canadian Aeronautical Institute (CAI), a four-year old aircraft industry group, started to contemplate taking on a role in the space and missile arena. The CAI had about 1000 members and was the industry voice for more than four dozen aerospace corporations including de Havilland, Avro, Canadair, the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Trans Canada Airlines, Rolls Royce Canada and many others.

Most of these companies had long legacies in the aircraft business but few were involved with missile and rocket technology with the notable exceptions of de Havilland, Bristol and Canadair.  Despite these three companies being within the inner circle of CAI, there was a muted response from the members about getting involved in the new business of space flight. At this time the CAI chairman was a UTIAS professor named Herbert Ribner, who had originally worked at NASA’s predecessor, the NACA in Washington.  Ribner’s vice-chairman was David Bogdanoff, a Michigan native who worked at Canadair in Montreal, a company that was owned by General Dynamics in the United States.

In January 1959 Phil Lapp and Arthur Maine urged the Prime Minister of Canada, John Diefenbaker, and his Defence Secretary George Pearkes, to allow the CAS to send official representatives to a Commonwealth Space Summit scheduled for August in London. The request was declined.

January 1959 CAS submission to Prime Minister Diefenbaker. Graphics c/o Apogee Books.

At this exact time the government of Canada was embroiled in a political miasma and seemed unsure of what to do with Canada’s air defence. In the mid 1950s the previous government had commissioned the Avro Arrow as a replacement for the wildly successful CF-100 fighter. The new fighter/interceptor was to be designed and built by Avro in Malton Ontario and was to be on the cutting edge of aircraft design.

The team assembled in Malton Ontario included engineers from England, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Germany and elsewhere and they set about building an aircraft that would be uniquely suited to Canada’s specific needs. It had to be capable of long-range interception, it had to carry the best possible weapons systems, it had to be able to fly faster and higher than almost anything else in the sky and it needed to be airborne by the end of the decade.

Since its first roll-out in October of 1957 the Arrow had gone through an assortment of test flights and was still awaiting its home-grown high powered engine, the Orenda Iroquois. This engine had outperformed almost every engine in the world during test-bed trials. But despite all indications that the Arrow would be a world-beating aircraft, at the beginning of 1959 the Diefenbaker government chose to cancel all further development and effectively consigned Avro Canada to a long slow decline into oblivion. Like its ill-fated predecessor the Avro Jetliner the Arrow suffered by false comparisons.

The history books all still say that the de Havilland Comet was the first civilian jet transport to take to the air, which is technically true. However, what the history books rarely reveal is that the Comet flew a few inches off the ground and then settled back onto the runway. Two weeks later the Jetliner took off and flew for over an hour at 13,000 feet. If we are to use such unfavourable comparisons then the Wright Brothers first flight should perhaps be overshadowed by the Maxim flight of the 1890s which also left the ground for a few inches.

If the Jetliner had gone into production it would have beaten its first real in-service competitor by more than five years. While history tends to lay the blame for Avro’s demise squarely on Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, there are those who worked on the Jetliner who feel that the St Laurent government’s decision to cancel the Jetliner was the mortal blow. It certainly didn’t make it any easier that much later Diefenbaker accused Avro of complacency, and of only being successful because of government largesse.

The irony of this remark now resonates with sixty years of hindsight. In fact government subsidies underwrite almost every major aerospace program in the world. Canada was no different and Avro was no more blameworthy than Boeing or Douglas or de Havilland when it came to taking handouts from the taxpayer.

Prime Minister Diefenbaker famously remarked that Canada needed its aircraft manufacturing industry, but if Avro disappeared, the country would still have de Havilland and Canadair. Although technically this was true, the comment wantonly obfuscated the fact that thousands of highly trained people would lose their jobs, and even worse, leave the country.

Which is, of course, exactly what happened. 

Robert Godwin.
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Robert Godwin is the owner and founder of Apogee Space Books, the Space Curator at the Canadian Air & Space Museum and an American Astronautical Society History Committee Member.

He has written or edited over 100 books including the award winning series “The NASA Mission Reports” and appeared on dozens of radio and television programs in Canada, the USA and England as an expert not only on space exploration but also on music.  

His books have been discussed on CNN, the CBC, the BBC and CBS 60 Minutes. He produced the first ever virtual reality panoramas of the Apollo lunar surface photography and the first multi-camera angle movie of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. His latest book was written with the late Frederick I Ordway III and is called “2001 The Heritage and Legacy of the Space Odyssey” about the history of spaceflight at the movies.

Last Week, “Radar, Better Radar (of the “Synthetic Aperture” Variety), Project Quill, CARDE, Velvet Glove & Black Brant” in part four of “100 Years of Canadian Aerospace History.

Next Week, “BOMARC, NASA & CAI” as part six of “100 Years of Canadian Aerospace History” continues.

On sale now, at Apogee Books.

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Part 5: A History of the Canadian Space Program – Policies & Lessons Learned Coping with Modest Budgets

Posted  April 16, 2017  by  Chuck Black

Winding up the 1970’s, The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Spar Aerospace, 

MacDonald Dettwiler, a Seminal 1974 “Canadian Policy for Space” & the Canadarm


By Graham Gibbs & W. M. (“Mac“) Evans

This paper, first presented at the 65th International Astronautical Congress, which was held in Toronto, Ontario from September 29th – October 3rd, 2014, is a brief history of the Canadian space program, written by two of the major participants.

The 1970’s, Part 3

The 1970’s also saw the  beginning of Canada’s interests in using satellites for observing the earth. During the 1960’s, NASA had launched several weather satellites, including the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) and the NIMBUS satellites. Canadian scientists, primarily at the National Research Council (NRC) and the Meteorological Services of Canada (MSC), had participated in using these satellites on an experimental basis. In 1971, the MSC set up a Satellite Data Laboratory at its new headquarters in Downsview, Ontario. 

Canadian scientists, primarily with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), had become active in pursuing the possibilities of remote sensing satellites to monitor events on earth.  

In 1969 they established the Interdepartmental Committee on Resource Satellites and Remote Airborne Sensing to oversee Canada’s growing interest in this area. In 1971 the scientists were able to convince the government to establish the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) within the Department of Energy Mines and Resources (EMR), now Natural Resources Canada, to be the lead agency in coordinating remote sensing activities in Canada.

An agreement was concluded for a joint experimental program with NASA using the first remote sensing satellite to be launched, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) 1, launched in 1972 and later renamed LANDSAT 1. DOC agreed to convert the Prince Albert Radar Laboratory so it could receive data from LANDSAT 1 and let a contract to a start-up firm in Vancouver called MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) for a quick-look facility for rapid processing of the data from the satellite. 

MDA produced a world-leading processor which allowed Canada to process the first images from LANDSAT 1 before the Americans did. MDA would go on to be the world leader in the supply of ground receiving and processing systems for remote sensing satellites.

Around 1974 NASA commenced planning for a satellite (called SEASAT) that would carry a radar instrument to provide images of the earth, by day, or by night and through clouds (the LANDSAT satellite carried an optical instrument that could only take images in sunlight and on cloudless days). This was of great interest to CCRS and an agreement was signed with NASA that allowed Canada to receive SEASAT data upon its launch in 1978. 

An advanced digital processor built by MDA under contract from CCRS allowed Canada to produce the world’s first digitally processed image from a satellite. The MDA processor became the world standard. SEASAT failed a few months after launch and when NASA announced that it had no intentions of replacing the satellite, CCRS and the scientific community in Canada launched a study program (called SURSAT) to investigate the possibilities for a Canadian radar satellite. 

In the midst of this rapid growth in interest in space by a number of government departments, the Ministry of State for Science and Technology (MOSST) issued in 1974 a “Canadian Policy for Space.” This was a seminal document that set the guidelines for the future of the Canadian Space Program. 

The Policy stipulated that Canada’s primary interest in space would be to use it for applications that contribute directly to the achievement of national goals. This provided the policy support for the recommendation in the 1967 Chapman Report (previously discussed in part two of this series) that Canada’s space program should move away from science towards applications, particularly in communications and remote sensing. 

Some government policies enjoy broad bipartisan support across party lines over the decades. Such is the case with the 1974 “Canadian Policy for Space,” which defined Canada’s primary focus in space as the development of applications that “contribute directly to the achievement of national goals.” Those goals were reiterated as recently as the May 2007 “Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage Report” and the June 2009 “Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage Progress Report.” It’s quite likely that this policy will be reiterated again in June 2017, when the current Federal government is scheduled to unveil an updated Canadian space policy. Graphic c/o Ic.gc.ca.

The Canadian Policy for Space specifically identified the need to support the development of the Canadian space industry by moving government space research and development out into industry, by using government purchasing policies to encourage industry development and by requesting departments to submit plans to ensure that Canada’s satellite systems are designed, developed and constructed in Canada by Canadians, using Canadian components. 

This latter part of the Canadian Policy for Space led to the development of the Prime Contractor Policy adopted by the government in 1976 as the primary means for supporting the development of the Canadian space industry. 

The Prime Contractor Policy supported the creation in Canada of a single company, SPAR Aerospace, (which purchased the space assets of RCA and Northern Electric in 1976) capable of producing complete satellite systems. 

The government supported this effort through various means including: the expansion of the David Florida Laboratories to provide the facilities required to integrate and test complete satellites before launch; negotiating progressively higher Canadian content provisions in future Telesat satellite procurement’s which helped SPAR become the prime contractor for the ANIK D series of satellites; paying the so-called premium for Canadian content on the ANIK C and ANIK D satellites; and creating a contracted-out space technology development program.

George Page, the deputy-director of the Kennedy Space Centre (on right) and Claus Wagner-Bartak (with mustache and glasses), along with other employees from North York’s Spar Aerospace Ltd., Ottawa’s National Research Council and CAE giving the thumbs up to the Canadarm they developed for the U.S. space shuttle in 1981. The 1970’s was a tough time for Spar, which was formed in 1967 when the Canadian managers of De Havilland’s Special Products and Applied Research Division, bought the division and renamed it. But the Federal governments decision to support a single Canadian company capable of creating complete satellite systems and other large space projects gave Spar a role it held until 1999, when that role was taken over by MDA. Photo c/o Toronto Public Library.

In direct contradiction to the recommendation in the Chapman Report that called for a central coordinating and contracting body for space, the Canadian Policy for Space directed that the utilization of space systems should be through activities proposed and budgeted by departments within their established mandates. This effectively put a stake in the heart of those proposing the creation of a national space agency. It is interesting to note that about a decade later, this same Ministry of State prepared the proposal for, and got government approval for, the creation of a centralized Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

The Canadian Policy for Space recognized the importance of international cooperation to Canada’s space program (most of the programs noted above were international cooperative efforts) and encouraged the further participation of Canada in international space activities. This policy supported the underlying rationale for Canada becoming a Closely Cooperating State of the European Space Agency (ESA) in January 1979. 

Finally, the Canadian Policy for Space noted that “Canada will continue to rely on other nations for launch vehicles and services and we should enhance access to such services by participating in the supplying nation’s space program.” This was the policy rationale for Canada undertaking the Canadarm program for the US Space shuttle system.

In response to NASA’s invitation for foreign involvement in their “Post Apollo” program (i.e. the space transportation system now known at the Space Shuttle); Canada decided to contribute the remote manipulator system (eventually named the “Canadarm“). This decision was based in part upon an unsolicited proposal for the design and development of a robotic arm for the shuttle received from a consortium of Canadian industries led by SPAR Aerospace. After considerable debate in the Interdepartmental Committee on Space (ICS) it was decided to assign responsibility for the program to the NRC.

This decision can be seen as another reflection of the dictate of the Canadian Policy for Space that space activities should be conducted by departments within their established mandates. This decision broke the hegemony of the Department of Communications as the only department capable of putting hardware into space. 

In 1974 a Project Office was established in NRC to manage the program and on July 18, 1975, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between NASA and NRC for a cooperative program for the development and procurement of a Space Shuttle Attached Remote Manipulator System (later to be called Canadarm). 
Under the terms of the MOU, Canada undertook to develop and deliver to NASA one arm and NASA agreed to procure at least an additional three arms. Consistent with the directive of the Canadian Policy for Space to support Canadian industry, NRC contracted the design and construction of the first arm to SPAR. The technical challenges of building the world’s first space robot were formidable and had the added complexity of being associated with a human flight program. But once again, as in the Alouette days, Canadian engineers from both government and industry were up to the challenge. 
The 1970’s saw the most dramatic development in the history of the Canadian Space Program. It was the most prolific period in the development of space policies culminating in the Canadian Policy for Space announced by Madame Jeanne Sauvé, the Minister of State for Science and Technology in 1974. 
The program shifted from being science based to being based on the pursuit of applications to meet national needs. Canada became the first country in the world to have its own domestic satellite communications system operating in geosynchronous orbit. Development of the Canadian space industry became a major priority resulting in the emergence of the industrial capability to produce complete satellite systems. 
During the decade, Canada had more satellites launched than at any other period before or since. The government’s annual space budget grew from less than $20Mln CDN in 1970 to more than $90Mln CDN by the end of the decade. More departments were becoming interested in participating in the program and by the end of the decade, DOC’s share of the government’s space expenditures had fallen from its domination in 1970 to less than 40%. Major new players on the scene were NRC (with Canadarm) and the Department of Energy Mines and Resources (with its remote sensing activities).
The decade ended with the untimely death in 1979 of Dr. Chapman, the chief architect of the Canadian Space Program.
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Graham Gibbs & Mac Evans. Photos c/o MyCanada & CSA.
Graham Gibbs represented the Canadian space program for twenty-two years, the final seven as Canada’s first counselor for (US) space affairs based at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. 

He is the author of “Five Ages of Canada – A HISTORY from Our First Peoples to Confederation.”

William McDonald “Mac” Evans served as the president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) from November 1991 to November 2001, where he led the development of the Canadian astronaut and RADARSAT programs, negotiated Canada’s role in the International Space Station (ISS) and contributed to various international agreements that serve as the foundation of Canada’s current international space partnerships.

He currently serves on the board of directors of Vancouver, BC based UrtheCast.

Last Week: “More of the 1970’s, “Equal Access” to Communications, “Improved Industrial Capability” and the Hermes Communication Satellite,” in part four of “A History of the Canadian Space Program: Policies & Lessons Learned Coping with Modest Budgets.

Next Week: “The 1980’s, A “National Space Agency,” Canadarm’s Rollout, The Second Three Year Space Plan & Canada’s First Astronauts” as part six of “A History of the Canadian Space Program: Policies & Lessons Learned Coping with Modest Budgets,” continues.

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Class, religion, economics

Posted  April 16, 2017  by  Mandos

Right now the biggest news in Europe is the Turkish referendum, whose ballot-counting is going on as I write this. The referendum is for a constitutional change that will favour the office of the Turkish presidency, currently occupied by…

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MORE DELAYS IN TTC DECISIONS THAN THE SUBWAYS

Posted  April 16, 2017  by  John Downing

IT’S CROWDED BUT STILL LOSES MONEYThe university lecturer was explaining long ago that for centuries there had been a great argument about how many angels could dance on the head of the pin.That actually woke me up for a few minutes, and I have never f…

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Blogging resumes Monday morning…

Posted  April 16, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Blogging resumes Monday morning…

More from my siteBlogging resumes Monday morning…Blogging resumes Monday morning…Blogging resumes Monday morning…Blogging resumes Monday morning…

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Why Trump’s EPA Is Far More Vulnerable to Attack Than Reagan’s or Bush’s

Posted  April 16, 2017  by  guest
Smoke from smokestacks above cars lining a Cleveland road in 1973

By Walter Rosenbaum, University of Florida

For people concerned with environmental protection, including many EPA employees, there is broad agreement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in deep trouble. The Conversation

The Trump administration has begun the third, most formidable White House-led attempt in EPA’s brief history to diminish the agency’s regulatory capacity.

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ALTERNATIVE FACTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FAKE

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  John Downing

TRUMP IS JUST THE LATEST LIARFacebook is warning and instructing us on false news. (I’ve always preferred using fake to false because fake has a circus feel of clowns and charlatans and false is the formal droppings of lawyers.) Yet no experienced jour…

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Hey, who’s up for a 4+ hour conversation about “They Live” (1988)?

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

More from my siteHey, who’s up for a 2+ hour conversation about ‘Detour’?Hey, who’s up for a 2+ hour conversation about ‘In a Lonely Place’ (1950)Hey, who’s up for a two and a half hour long conversation about ‘Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ (1965)?Hey, who’s up for a two and a half hour conversation about ‘Pump […]

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Easter

Peanut Butter Confetti Cake

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  Anonymous

 This Peanut Butter Confetti Cake is a family favourite recipe!  Full of delicious peanut butter, butterscotch and marshmallow flavours! – – – – – – Every Easter my family looks forward to this dessert!  It’s so mouthwatering good.  Once you have one bite you won’t be able to stop!  Trust me on this one.  Me, myself & I finished off half of it all by ourself. This is one of those recipes that has been around in our family for as long as I can remember.  Peanut Butter Confetti Cake would appear every year at Easter when either my Mom, Grandma or Aunties made it…it’s a classic.  Funny thing though, when I was a kid I actually didn’t love it like I do now.  Now, I cannot get enough of it, which is why I don’t make it very often.  In fact I only make it at Easter time.  Some people make it for Christmas, but I like it for Easter because the pastel colours seem to be perfect for this time of year. Peanut Butter Confetti Cake This recipe makes a pretty large batch.  I have learned over the years to actually cut the recipe in half when I’m serving […]

The post Peanut Butter Confetti Cake appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Bull

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  Balbulican

In the beginning was Bowling Green, a small, cobble-stoned park in the heart of Wall Street. Then came Charging Bull. A rare example of capitalist guerilla art, it was created and installed in 1989 by sculptor Arturo Di Modica…

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In Planned EPA Cuts, US to Lose Vital Connection to At-risk Communities

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  guest
Government employees hold signs at a rally in support of the EPA

By Deborah Morrison and Nicole Smith Dahmen, University of Oregon

Recent headlines point to a relentless undoing of policy and process within the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Trump budget calls for slashing the EPA budget by an estimated 31 percent. Staff would be reduced by 25 percent and 50 programs could see cuts, such as ones designed to lower the health risks from lead paint.

In all likelihood, the first communities to feel effects of a dismantled EPA are those who consistently pay the biggest price when policy strays from being focused on people. It will be the indigenous people, the populations who live in poverty and at-risk communities — often populated by people of color — who typically feel the sharp cuts and public health effects first and fully.

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Tim Sommer: “You’re an Idiot if You’re Mad at John Lydon for Praising Trump and Brexit”

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Tim Sommer: “You’re an Idiot if You’re Mad at John Lydon for Praising Trump and Brexit”

I touched on this briefly here. Now the always interesting Tim Sommer: John Lydon is 61. Again, here I note that I once knew him, just a little. I believe that his agenda, first and foremost, is to support his family, support his step-grandchildren, and see that they are fed and clothed and educated and […]

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Saturday Stories: Horseshoe Crabs, Math Proofs, and Fentanyl Addiction

Posted  April 15, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff
By Asturnut (talk) – I (Asturnut (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Caren Chesler in Popular Mechanics on the irreplacable medical marvel that is horseshoe crab blood.

Natalie Wolchover in Wired on the retired German statistician who solved one of mathematics most elusive proofs.

Darryl Green (as told to Katherine Laidlaw) in Toronto Life details his journey from successful ER physician to a fentanyl addiction.

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GIVE ME A BREAK FROM TRUMP

Posted  April 14, 2017  by  John Downing

MY DIRTY SECRET – POLITICS IS OFTEN BORINGOnce upon a time when a handful of people started the flagship of what became the Sun chain, I covered everything in Canadian politics 24/7. I spent more time with the mayor than my wife, and talked more t…

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David Harsanyi: Why “Fight Club” Still Matters

Posted  April 14, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
David Harsanyi: Why “Fight Club” Still Matters

I’m a little late with this (and left a comment complaining about Pulp Fiction)… It’s about boredom, another unappreciated and destructive human condition. The English punks of the mid-seventies, who, like Durden’s mischief-makers, embraced nihilism as a way to push back against modern life, were also spurred by “boredom.” The word litters their lyrics and […]

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Mark Steyn and Jordan Peterson in conversation: Need I say more?

Posted  April 14, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Mark Steyn and Jordan Peterson in conversation: Need I say more?

More from my siteMark Steyn calls Bernie Farber ‘not smart enough to regulate 30 million people’s conversations’Mark Steyn celebrates Earth Day (just kidding)How Mark Steyn would deal with returning war criminal Omar Khadr (video)Gavin McInnes: 10 Things I Like About Black People

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These Industry Titans Oppose Trump’s Order to Build Pipelines with U.S. Steel

Posted  April 14, 2017  by  Steve Horn
sections of steel pipe for a gas pipeline

The April 7 deadline has come and gone for public comments on President Donald Trump‘s executive order calling for U.S. pipelines to be made with U.S.-produced steel, and some of the most influential titans of industry have come out against it.

The list of heavy-hitters who have voiced their discontent includes the likes of Dakota Access pipeline-owner Energy Transfer Partners, Russian-owned pipe producers Evraz North America and TMK IPSCO, and pipeline giants Williams Companies and EQT Midstream. It also includes the oil and gas industry at-large through its trade association and lobbying groups, such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Association of Oil Pipelines, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and others such as Magnolia LNG

Noticeably absent from the list is TransCanada, owner of the recently approved Keystone XL pipeline, which the Trump administration has said is exempt from the order. Both Keystone XL and Dakota Access will use steel made by Evraz North America, whose parent company is owned by a close political ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as previously reported by DeSmog.

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Life Is A Real-Life Episode of Veep

Posted  April 14, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

I can’t imagine you didn’t catch Sean Spicer’s recent press conference. If it weren’t so horrifying, it’d fit perfectly in HBO’s apparently prescient presidential comedy Veep as is evidenced by today’s Funny Friday.

Have a great weekend!

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Outlook for Mac – How to import PST files and export to PST files?

Posted  April 14, 2017  by  Anonymous

Outlook for Mac is the MS Outlook equivalent for the Mac environment. It works like MS Outlook, though it saves its data in OLM format which is completely different form the PST format used by MS Outlook. For Outlook for Mac users, it is easy to import a PST file into their application. But it … Continue reading Outlook for Mac – How to import PST files and export to PST files?

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Gas Barge Grounding in New York Shows Risk of Turning Hudson River into ‘Pipeline on Water’

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  Anonymous

On April 4 a barge carrying 60,000 barrels of gasoline ran aground in the Hudson River and was stranded for hours while New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation tried to determine if the barge was leaking. Luckily the Hudson is a tidal river and when the tide rose, the ship was able to be freed. No gasoline had spilled this time. 

However, the nature of the accident highlights the risks of moving petroleum products in barges and tankers on the Hudson River — something that may become a lot more common in the near future. Basil Seggos, head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, explained to the Albany Times Union what caused the accident but couldn’t explain why it happened. 

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Add your name to support this smart plan to regulate and restrict access to marijuana

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal government has announced a smart plan to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana. But the Conservative Party will do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo.

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Breitbart’s James Delingpole Denies Danger of Great Barrier Reef Bleaching — Again

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  Graham Readfearn
Scuba diver assessing coral bleaching underwater

The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing mass coral bleaching for the second consecutive year, ushering in another global round of headlines above images of ghostly white corals and dying habitats.

About a quarter of all the corals on the reef died from the 2016 event, mostly in the pristine north.

What were once dazzling multi-colored homes for myriad marine species are now graveyards of algae-swamped coral.

Now the reef is bleaching again, with corals in the reef’s central area, popular with tourists, suffering the most. It’s too early to say how many of the corals will die from the bleaching.

But fear not. Breitbart’s resident climate science denier James Delingpole is on the case. 

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PRI Integration for Fitness – Another System, Another Useful Tool

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  deansomerset

Today I have a guest post from Alex Kraszewski, a physical therapist and strength coach in England who not only talks a big game, but can deadlift 3 times his bodyweight. Admittedly, I have not taken any of the PRI modules, so he was kind enough to give a breakdown of what they were, how…… Read More

The post PRI Integration for Fitness – Another System, Another Useful Tool appeared first on DeanSomerset.com.

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“Checkmate”: Gavin McInnes on Trump’s missile strike on Syria

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
“Checkmate”: Gavin McInnes on Trump’s missile strike on Syria

Gavin McInnes writes: The Middle East is all about theatrics. Palestinians stage so many pretend attacks they call it “Pallywood.” There are false flags all over the place, from fake car-bomb attacks to the entire country listening to a 7-year-old refugee girl in Aleppo who tells us, “Condemnation doesn’t save lives but actions do.” It’s […]

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Meet the only Canadian high school team competing at Shell Eco-marathon Americas

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  Anonymous

Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2017 Team Nortern Sarnia

In between homework assignments, one group of Canadian high school students is putting the finishing touches on their custom-built, futuristic-looking vehicle that will soon be racing around a track at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas (SEMA) 2017. Happening in Detroit, Michigan from April 27-30, SEMA brings together students from seven countries across the Americas to see whose vehicle proves the most fuel-efficient.

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Is your building giving off bad vibes?

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Study will look at solutions to health issues caused by swaying office towers and vibrating floors.

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Pulling water out of thin air

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Harvesting water out of thin air with a new device powered only by sunlight.

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Teeth scratches show earliest evidence of right-handedness

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Fossil teeth from 1.8 million years ago indicate right-handedness in one Homo habilis.

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Time for a change to Canada’s ‘research ecosystem’

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

A major report signals that we’ve got to support our scientists where it counts.

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7,000 Methane Bubbles Beneath Siberia

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

The permafrost in Siberia is melting, giving up methane and eventually forming lakes.

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Quirks & Question: How can I become a fossil when I die?

Posted  April 13, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

The science behind how fossils are created is answered in this week’s question.

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Back-to-back bleaching has now hit two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  guest

Corals on the Great Barrier Reef have bleached again in 2017 as a result of extreme summer temperatures. It’s the fourth such event and the second in as many years, following earlier mass bleachings in 1998, 2002 and 2016.

The consecutive bleaching in 2016 and 2017 is concerning for two reasons. First, the 12-month gap between the two events is far too short for any meaningful recovery on reefs that were affected in 2016.

Second, last year’s bleaching was most severe in the northern section of the reef, from the Torres Strait to Port Douglas, whereas this year the most intense bleaching has occurred further south, between Cooktown and Townsville. The combined footprint of this unprecedented back-to-back bleaching now stretches along two-thirds of the length of the Great Barrier Reef.

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