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

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

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

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Scientists create robot-like biomaterial with key traits of life

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Building machine-like biomaterial with key traits of life

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What happens to oil spills after dispersant is used?

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

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

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

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

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

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

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Finding the beauty in a dreaded subject: calculus

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

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

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

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

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

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

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Processed food is full of bad stuff, but the real problem is you eat too much of it

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

Processed food creates a slippery slope where people eat too much of it

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Why do Canada geese honk while migrating?

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

They honk to communicate their position in the flock

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‘Siri, does my baby have an ear infection?’ An app does medical diagnosis

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

Your smartphone could soon diagnose your child’s ear infection

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Moonquakes show the moon is still geologically ‘alive’

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Anonymous

The moon still has activity geologically

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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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Cutting-edge experiments show an electrical zap improves memory in older adults

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

Improving memory in older adults with electrical stimulation

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Countdown to the moon landing: Apollo 10 – the mission that came so close to the moon

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

The dress rehearsal for that one small step

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It’s all about the sugar fix: Eating too much sugar causes fruit flies to eat even more

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

Eating too much sugar causes fruit flies to eat more sugar

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The secret of STEVE’s glow – understanding the purple pal of the aurora borealis

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

We’ve finally figured out ‘STEVE’ and why he shines so bright

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Barnacles stuck to ancient whales kept an itinerary of whale migration routes

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

Fossil barnacles hold the secrets to prehistoric whale migration

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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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How late is too late to revive a brain? Pig brain study raises questions

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Do we know how late is too late to revive a brain?

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Hippo poop provides a key mineral for vital algae’s tiny skeletons

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Hippos provide the skeletons for freshwater algae

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Stitching up surgical cuts with slug slime

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Sticky slug goo may work as a medical adhesive

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How big is too big for quantum mechanics?

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Is there a cut off point for measuring by quantum mechanics versus physics

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How air conditioners could keep you cool and capture carbon

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Air conditioners could be used for carbon capture to make oil from the atmosphere

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Holy coral reefs? They’ve got a ‘halo’ that could show if they’re healthy

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

How can you tell if a reef is healthy? Check its halo

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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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CO2-sniffing plane finds oilsands emissions higher than industry reported

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Oilsands greenhouse gas emissions are higher than we calculated

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Cataracts, small brains, and DNA damage – Chernobyl’s wildlife 33 years after the meltdown

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Chernobyl’s wildlife still suffering from radiation damage 33 years later

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Mice reinvent the hamster wheel in zero gravity

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Mice respond to microgravity on the ISS with unusual exercise routine

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Have species from Canada invaded other places?

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Canada has give the world oyster mussels and the grey squirrel for example.

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A comet fragment trapped inside an meteorite captures a time capsule of the early solar system

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

A comet inside an asteroid fell to Earth as a meteorite

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Transcending the uncertainty of quantum mechanics in ‘Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution’ Subhead: ‘What we want is to know what nature is fundamentally like whether we’re around or not’

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Taking the observer out of quantum mechanics in new book: ‘Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution’

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An Easter Miracle

Posted  April 19, 2019  by  Balbulican

Miraculously recovered from the ashes of Notre Dame Cathedral: an actual, physical excerpt from King Henry’s Response to Cardinal Mueller’s Investigation of the murder of Thomas Becket….

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How do insects like ants time their emergence so precisely?

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Temperature play a key role in mating dances.

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Scientists have put a human brain gene into monkeys. Have they crossed the line?

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

They really did it. Scientists put human brain gene into monkeys

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Pee-oneering archeology. A new technique uses urine to study the ancient past

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

10,000 year-old urine helps reveal the history of animal domestication

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Why the long face? Human faces evolved to reveal emotions and communicate

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Our faces evolved to reveal and communicate our emotions

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Sharks cope with levels of heavy metals in their blood that would kill other animals

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Heavy metals in their blood would kill others, but not the great white shark

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Is there life ‘out there?’ How we’ll search for traces of life on nearby exoplanets

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Life on exoplanets could be found within our lifetime, according to NASA scientists

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