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Doctors show that blood flow can spread Alzheimer’s disease

Posted  November 3, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

A study in mice shows that amyloid-beta can travel to the brain from other body parts via blood.

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Opioids can make your pain worse and doctors are trying to figure out why

Posted  November 3, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Opioids can increase our sensitivity to pain

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Doctors warn mothers to not ‘vaginally seed’ their C-section babies

Posted  November 3, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

New evidence links c-section associated illness in children to missing the mothers microbiome

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Bats say ‘move it’ in different dialects

Posted  November 3, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Bats in different caves have their own dialect

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LISTEN: These artists turned a breakaway iceberg into music

Posted  November 3, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Artist turns seismic readings of an ice sheet breaking into soundscape

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Media Refused Entrance to Thursday’s CSCA Meeting at Denton’s Law Firm

Posted  November 2, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Chuck Black

A small not-for-profit space focused group with more than its fair share of influence on the August 2017 Space Advisory Board (SAB) report, “Consultations on Canada’s future in space: What we heard,” has refused entry to this media organization for an event focused around proposed updates to the Federal Remote Sensing Space Systems Act (RSSSA).

E-mail ad for the November 2nd, 2017 CSCA monthly meeting. It’s worth noting that CSCA executive director Michelle Mendez is also a member of the SAB. Graphic c/o CSCA.

We will acknowledge that lobby groups often hold private meetings to assess legislation and share information. That’s just part of the way things work when you’re trying to influence Ottawa. Everyone has their secrets.

But this meeting was a little different. CSCA doesn’t pitch itself as a lobby group but instead defines itself on the CSCA webpage as “Canada’s national association for the space sector, representing industry, academia, professionals, young entrepreneurs and students.” It’s kinda hard to represent all those people when you don’t want the media to report on what was said.

And here’s where the problem lies.

The meeting is advertised as featuring Kelly Anderson, the deputy director of policy and regulatory affairs at Global Affairs Canada, a Federal government department in the larger Foreign Affairs ministry. It promised “clarifications and consultation” into proposed changes to the RSSSA.

It’s essentially a Federal government sanctioned meeting being hosted at one of the nation’s largest law firms. Discussions on legislation, in order to build consensus and validate the underlying assumptions, should be open to public debate and media coverage is both important and appropriate.

Terse, and rather disappointing since this blog doesn’t often get refused admission to industry events. In the last eight years, we’ve covered the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), the Canadian Science Policy Centre (CSPC) the Canadian Space Agency (CSA),  the Canadian Space Society (CSS), the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC), The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) and most every other public and private organization listed on our Industry Page. Until 2012 we even covered CSCA events since, at the time editor Chuck Black and author Brian Orlotti were both active on the CSCA. As for next week, this blog will be covering the 2017 “A New Space Age,” event, which is being organized by the Economist Magazine in Seattle, WA on November 9th. Graphic c/o author.
This publication has requested clarifications on the changes to legislation from the office of Chrystia Freedland, the minister of Foreign Affairs, the Federal government department which includes Global Affairs Canada. With luck, we should be able to provide an independent assessment of the changes in the RSSSA over the next week or so.
With respect to event admission, we queried several senior partners at Dentons Law LLP, where the event was held, but none would respond on the record.

CSCA executives were also queried and CSCA director, Baron Stuart Crane of Cluny, responded as follows:

Thank you for your email of today’s date. 

The CSCA reserves the right to refuse entry to its events. The Board exercised its discretion in denying you entry to today’s event on the Consultation and Clarification of the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act (RSSSA). 

The Board is not required to provide an explanation for its decision, and accordingly, will not be responding to your request of this morning for the reason you were not permitted entry to the event.  

We acknowledge your involvement in the space commerce sector and respect your right to report on the industry.

We note, however, that in the event that there are unfounded or inaccurate statements that are published, and which are damaging to CSCA, the Board may be forced to take action against you for damages and defamation. 

Govern yourself accordingly.

Certainly we don’t want to publish “unfounded” or “inaccurate” statements on this, or on any other topic. However, we will also continue to update this story as new information becomes available.

    Chuck Black.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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    The reconciliation hoax

    Posted  November 2, 2017  by  Dr.Dawg

    Item: RCMP clears itself for breaking the news to a mother that her child has been shot, by surrounding the mother’s house and raiding it. The distraught mother collapsed after hearing her son had been killed—and was asked if…

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    Four simple tricks to reduce the Outlook mailbox size

    Posted  November 2, 2017  by  Anonymous

    “Mailbox Full: Your mailbox is full, you may not be able to send or receive items.” As an Outlook user, you may be familiar with this message. With the accumulation of emails, the Outlook mailbox grows in size. And users often neglect or forget this fact. They notice it only after getting the ‘Mailbox Full’ … Continue reading Four simple tricks to reduce the Outlook mailbox size

    The post Four simple tricks to reduce the Outlook mailbox size appeared first on Data Recovery Blog.

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    Exxon Refinery Catches Fire Day After Government Settles Over Pollution From Other Gulf Plants

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Julie Dermansky
    ExxonMobil’s refinery and chemical plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Early morning skies Wednesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were alight from a fire that started around 2:30 a.m. at an ExxonMobil refinery. The blaze, though contained before the sun came up, is a reminder to the surrounding community of yet another danger of living next to refineries and chemical plants.

    Exxon’s refinery is located along the stretch of Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans known as “Cancer Alley” due to the high number of chemical plants and refineries — and illnesses possibly connected to emissions — along the river’s banks.

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    Justin Trudeau makes remarks at Liberal donor appreciation event

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

    Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will deliver remarks at a Laurier Club donor appreciation reception in Toronto on November 2, 2017.

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    Ohio Court Overturns Law Preventing Cities From Voting on Anti-Fracking Measures

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Anonymous
    Building home to the Ohio Supreme Court

    In a slight break with previous state policies that have encouraged fracking activity and new pipelines, the Ohio Supreme Court recently struck down a controversial provision restricting citizen efforts to vote locally on these and other issues through the ballot initiative process.

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    Watch Full Movie Jigsaw (2017)

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
    “Which writers really deserve to be called ‘outsiders’?”

    Philip Hensher writes:In current studies, many writers with a good claim to exist outside privilege are totally neglected. Everyone ought to know the difficulties that a working-class writer, or any writer without independent means, will have in getting started. There are very few institutions devoted to the study of working-class culture, apart from an excellent […]

    Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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    And So It Begins (#Movember)

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

    And so it begins (again).

    This month I pledge to grow my something of a Pedro Pascal inspired lip-terpillar in the name of raising awareness (and $s) for men’s health.

    If you enjoy my blog, a blog fully free from advertising, I’d like to ask you to donate to my Movember fundraising efforts. I’ve kicked them off by donating $100 myself and I’m hoping to raise more than last year’s $3,500.

    Contrary to what some believe, Movember is not a prostate cancer charity per se, and though some of its funds do support prostate cancer research and treatment, Movemeber supports multiple men’s health initiatives including those involving mental health, suicide, body image, eating disorders, testicular cancer, substance abuse, and more. Regarding prostate cancer, I was pleased to see that Movember encourages patients to speak with their physicians about the value (or lack thereof) of PSA screening, rather than suggesting it’s a good idea for one and all.

    Donating is easy. Just click here and give! And of course, Movember is a registered charity, so all donations are fully tax deductible.

    In return I vow to continue to blog freely, to never allow advertisements, and to regularly post pictures of what might well have been an effective form of birth control in my home had I sported it year round back in the day.

    For me the ask is also personal. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was in medical school, and soon I’ll need to start wrestling with whether or not with that strong family history, I should walk the slippery slope of testing. My oldest cousin Marshall – we lost him to substance abuse.

    Every dollar counts, no donation is too small.

    (And if you want, you can make your donation anonymously so no one (me included) will know you hang out here from time to time.)

            
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    Steve Sailer on Google & Facebook, Russia & Trump: “How well can advertising be proven to work?”

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
    Steve Sailer on Google & Facebook, Russia & Trump: “How well can advertising be proven to work?”

    Steve Sailer writes:As the evidence piled up, I recommended to G&Z that they pay us to test cutting their advertising budgets. They could start perpetual tests with us to see if reducing ad spending hurt their products’ sales. If it hadn’t after two years, they could cut their commercials nationally. If in later years our […]

    Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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    Mark Steyn: “I’ve written before about what I’ve called the Bollardization of the Western World”

    Posted  November 1, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

    As I write, Geraldo is on Fox demanding to know why this bike path wasn’t blocked off with concrete barriers.Why? Why does every public place have to get uglified up just because Geraldo doesn’t want to address the insanity of western immigration policies that day by day advance the interests of an ideology explicitly hostile […]

    Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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    You got us here

    Posted  October 31, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

    Friends, we’ve come a long way since that first step in 2012 — but we only got here because we worked together.

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    Trump Pick for White House Environmental Council Profited from Oil Drilling, Energy Industry Speaking Fees

    Posted  October 31, 2017  by  Anonymous
    Kathleen Hartnett White (left) and Donald Trump (right)

    Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump’s nominee to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), has recently made money from both leases on oil drilling and speaking fees at conferences sponsored by the fossil fuel industry. These new details come from Hartnett White’s financial disclosure, obtained by DeSmog.     

    If her nomination is confirmed, Hartnett White will be charged with interagency coordination of science, energy, and environmental policy and with overseeing crucial environmental review processes for new energy and infrastructure projects. The CEQ, a division of the Executive Office of the President, was established in 1969 as part of the landmark National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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    If “feminism is a cancer,” then remember that leftist men were the cigarettes

    Posted  October 31, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
    If “feminism is a cancer,” then remember that leftist men were the cigarettes

    This is a typical story:This savagery seemed to slip into her home life. Carter resented being saddled with the domestic work in her marriage. “It never ends, the buggering about with dirty dishes, coal pails, ash bins, shitbins, hot water, detergent,” she complained. She was an indifferent housekeeper (at one point, the dust in the […]

    Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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    The Comsat Industry "Abides"

    Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Chuck Black
              By Brian Orlotti

    Leading satellite operator SES S.A. has issued an ultimatum of sorts to traditional satellite manufacturers that the company intends to radically change how it procures, launches and operates geosynchronous communications satellites.

    Originally, it was the dude that “abides.” As outlined in the undated Dictonarykiwi post, ““The Dude abides” — what does “abide” mean in that context?,” the term “abide” is a “complex, archaic word” that means variously “lives in,” “goes in accord with,” and “co-exists in harmony with.” In the context of the the 1998 Cohen brothers crime/ slacker comedy film “The Big Lebowski“, it “occurs because the narrator and the main character/characters, who have been extravagantly shown to be archaic, obsolete, rambling and pointlessly verbose, were struggling to describe a state of personal acceptance of fate.” To see more of The Big Lebowski and contemplate the similarities between the characters in the movie and the state of the current satellite industry, simply click on the photo above. Photo c/o You Tube

    As outlined in the October 26th, 2017 Space Intel Report post, “SES tells satellite builders to prepare for a total rethink of their business,” this major shift in the industry will focus on smaller, cheaper and quicker-to-deploy satellites able to compete with upcoming next-gen systems from major new players.

    According to the post, SES CTO Martin Halliwell outlined the criteria it will seek in this new generation of satellites:

    • Smaller weight than current-gen commsats i.e. 2000kg rather than the current +4000kg
    • A shift to all electric propulsion
    • The discarding of the current analog/digital hybrid processing architectures in favour of purely digital systems
    • Systems that can reallocate bandwidth on the fly to different customers based on their needs at a given time (similar to the concept of quality of service (QoS) in terrestrial networks)
    • A greater emphasis on standardization to ensure reliability
    • Reducing the entire satellite procurement cycle (from initial order to working satellite in orbit) down to 18 months from the current average of four years
    • Satellite working lifetimes of seven to eight years rather than up to 18 years, enabling lower costs and faster upgrade cycles
    • Designs enabling three or four satellites to be launched at a time so as to spread out launch and unit cost

    The primary drivers for these changes include lower launch costs enabled reusable rockets such as the SpaceX Falcon-9, as well as upcoming next-gen satellite constellations from SpaceX, OneWeb, O3b Networks and Leosat.

    In fact, influenced by the success of O3b Networks’ broadband satellite constellation in medium earth orbit, SES invested early in the company and then purchased it in May 2016 (renaming it SES Networks).

    SES’ emphasis on COTS components, standardization and all-digital systems will ensure that future constellations will be adaptable, able to provide a variety of services to multiple markets while in orbit.

    The traditional satellite industry will face formidable competition from these new players, particularly from SpaceX. Dubbing its constellation ‘StarLink,’  SpaceX is promising gigabit-speed internet access at latencies of around 25ms.

    These low latencies (comparable to terrestrial broadband links) will be enabled through the use of low Earth orbit (LEO). SpaceX is currently testing its satellites and plans to launch a prototype before year’s end. SpaceX intends to begin launching Starlink in 2019, reaching its full capacity of 4,425 satelites in 2024.

    Drawing on their considerable experience and resources, it’s clear that the traditional satellite industry has no intention of sitting still in the face of the coming sea change. This is ultimately a good thing. Greater competition will enable better service at better prices while pushing the cutting edge of innovation.

    Here’s to greater things ahead.

    Brian Orlotti.
      ______________________________________________________________
    Brian Orlotti is a regular contributor to the Commercial Space blog.

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    Four Upcoming Science, "Aero" & Space Policy Events Which Won’t Raise Questions in Parliament

    Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Chuck Black
              By Chuck Black

    It’s worth noting that many otherwise well informed industry experts quietly hold to the belief that the “real” job of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) president is to make sure that “no questions about the space agency or space policy” are ever asked by an opposition politician during the House of Commons Question Period.

    As outlined in the August 3rd, 2013 Canadian Encyclopedia post under the title, “House of Commons,” the House “is the centre of political power in Canada. The prime minister and his Cabinet receive their authority through the confidence of the House. It is an institution steeped in tradition and history.” It’s also the place you need to influence if you intend to make real political changes, a point often lost on the current crop of Canadian science and technology activists who are happy enough when National Research Council (NRC) and CSA department heads promise to get back to them “next week, for sure.” Photo c/o Adrian Wyld/CP.

    That’s why the current government encourages organizations like the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (the AIAC, which defines itself as the industry representative for both the “aerospace” and the “space” industry) and the Canadian Science Policy Centre (the CSPC, which defines itself as a “national forum” for “issues in national science, technology, and innovation policy“) to act as intermediaries in the political process by funneling concerns directly to the appropriate Federal government bureaucrats.

    They do this by organizing events where politicians meet and mingle with association members to exchange information and concerns (plus gossip) in a less formal, far more casual environment which bypasses the general public, media and the political opposition.

    But while the process creates the illusion of access and participation in the political process, it also removes most of the social sanctions and political pressure typically applied by the public and political opposition. Those sanctions and pressures have historically served as the only true mechanism to drive real change.

    This fall, four organizations are looking to promote their role as intermediaries and guides to Canadian space activities. Here’s a quick overview of their events.

    The big player in this small Canadian pond is the 2017 Canadian Aerospace Summit, which will take place in Ottawa, ON from November 7th – 8th.

    The annual event is organized by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), which considers itself to be “the voice of Canada’s aerospace industry,” and sometimes talks about space as well.

    An example of this would be the September 2016 position paper on “The Future of Canada’s Space Sector, An Engine of Innovation for Over 50 Years.” And, as outlined, most recently in the October 2nd, 2017 post, “Registration is now open for AIAC’s Space Day on the Hill, October 16, 2017,” AIAC has also sponsored space advocacy activities. In 2012, AIAC strongly supported the David Emerson led Aerospace Review, which defined the current aerospace industry political landscape and the current structure of the CSA.

    But today, the organization is focused most heavily on its core members who almost exclusively represent the “aero” component of the industry. Confirmed government speakers for this event include Federal innovation minister Navdeep Bains, Ontario provincial public services and procurement minister Carla Qualtrough and large numbers of “C” level officers from large aerospace companies including Airbus, Bell Helicopter, CAE, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, ViaSat and others.

    Expect traditional AIAC booster Bombardier Aerospace to also be in attendance, but relegated to a more subsidiary role focused around introducing its new best friend Airbus to Canadian subcontractors.

    For a sense of what happened last year at this event, it’s worth checking out the November 21st, 2016 post on “The US Military, CSeries, Roland Berger, Bell, MDA, Airships & Minister Bains at the 2016 Canadian Aerospace Summit.”

    The second major player in this space is the 9th Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC2017), which will take place in Ottawa, ON between November 1st – 3rd.

    This annual event is organized by the Canadian Science Policy Centre which, at least according to its website, “serves as an inclusive, non-partisan and national forum uniting stakeholders, strengthening dialogue, and enabling action with respect to current and emerging issues in national science, technology, and innovation policy.”

    From a practical perspective, this means that the organization is focused around policies which control government funded science generated through grants provided by the National Research Council (NRC), the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Networks of Centres of Excellence and others who act as the primary Canadian government resource for science and technology (S&T) funding. Academics, the major recipients of most of those government grants, are well represented at this event.

    Confirmed government speakers include Governor General and former astronaut Julie Payette, Federal science minister Kirsty Duncan, Federal science advisor Mona Nemur, Quebec chief scientist Rémi Quirion, Ontario innovation and science minister Reza Moridi and quite a large number of senior academics.

    The focus for the event will likely be wrapped around issues brought to light in the 2017 David Naylor led Federal Review of Fundamental Science which, as outlined in the October 16th, 2017 post, “Researchers, Heal Thy Selves!,” is the subject of much current controversy as the Canadian scientific community struggles over whether to accept or reject its conclusions.

    For a sense of what happened at the last CSPC , it’s worth checking out the November 13th, 2016 post, “Generalists, Data Miners, Lotteries, Comedy, Open Access and the Future of Science in Canada.”

    A third, far more minor event, is the 2017 Canadian Space Summit, which will also be held in Ottawa from November 21st – 22nd.

    Organized by the Canadian Space Society (CSS) around the concept of “Canada’s Next Space Generation,” the event intends to “speak to Canada’s future in space and provide a spotlight on the up-and-coming leaders of Canada’s space sector.

    The essence of this event is less political then academic and informational. Confirmed speakers include CSA president Sylvain Laporte, several members of the Space Advisory Board (including chair Marie Lucy Stojak and SAB member and executive director/ president of the Canadian Space Commerce Association Michelle Mendes), along with quite an interesting group of small business NewSpace companies and a couple of academics.

    All in all, it’s more of an introduction to the industry than the two larger conferences are able to provide. Undergrads and freshly minted NewSpace entrepreneurs are well advised to at least consider this event before moving on to the larger, more established conferences listed above.

    The presence of OMX CEO Nicole Verkindt on the speaker list is a strong indication of opportunity for small business owners. OMX is an online platform which manages obligations government contractors have to invest in local economies, a policy called “offsets,” which is often quite profitable if you sell the right product.

    For more on OMX, check out the January 23rd, 2013 post, “Buy Canada: New Firm Tracks IRB Offsets.”

    The final event, the 2017 Canadian Space Policy Symposium is perhaps a little more problematic.

    Organized around the August, 2017 report from the Federally mandated Space Advisory Board (SAB) by the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA), this event is mostly an advocacy meeting for the SAB report which, as outlined in the August 25th, 2017 post, “Space Advisory Board Report: “Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing” Except that Board Members Want to Keep their Jobs,” was released incomplete and is almost wholly reliant on the existing SAB members being given a renewed mandate if its ever going to get finished.

    All of which is well and good and might be even useful if there were a logical way forward.

    But with no politicians listed as attending and a speaker list full of SAB members and mid-level public bureaucrats (including CSA president Sylvain Laporte (again), CSA director general of space exploration Gilles Leclerc and CSA director of communications Anna Kapiniari), the event is unlikely to do more than preach to the converted.

    Even worse, CSCA president Mendes is also speaking at CSS organized Canadian Space Summit, discussed above, which suggests that most of that she has to say at the CSCA event will also be covered at the CSS event.

    And the closing speaker, AIAC executive VP Iain Christie serves only as a reminder that the AIAC organized Canadian Aerospace Summit, also discussed above, at least included a couple of politicians on its speakers list.

    As outlined above, at their best these sorts of events provide direct access to the politicians, but only if the politicians attend the meetings. The CSCA has not demonstrated that it can do that and, unlike the Canadian Space Summit, has no educational fall back position to justify its existence.

    Of course, access to politicians doesn’t necessarily lead to political change. As outlined above, it helps to be noticed during Question Period, and that leverages the attention of the public, the media and the opposition politicians.

    For more on the events put on last year by both the CSS and the CSCA, check out the November 21st, 2016 post, “The 4th Canadian Satellite Design Challenge, NASA, SLS, More Urthecast, the CSA & the 2016 Canadian Space Summit.”

      Chuck Black.
      ___________________________________________________________

      Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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      One day we’ll find out the Scottsboro Boys were guilty…

      Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

      Is there anything the cynical, snarky, brainwashing Left HASN’T been wrong about?Consider the infamous Duck and Cover cartoon (1951), cautioning school kids how to survive a nuclear attack. The advice given is today’s black-comedy punchline: when you see the blast, get down and put your hands over your head. Go ahead and giggle–but guess what? […]

      Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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      In Photos: The Canadian Mining Boom You’ve Never Seen Before

      Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Anonymous
      Red Chris mine

      If you’re in Vancouver this is way out in the middle of nowhere, but way out in the middle of nowhere is our backyard.”

      Those are the words of Frederick Otilius Olsen Jr., the tribal president of a traditional Haida village on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.

      When I met him, he had travelled to Ketchikan, Alaska, to meet with officials about the risk posed by the mining boom across the border in British Columbia.

      He stood on the boardwalk overlooking Ketchikan’s fishing fleet and waved his hands animatedly while he told me about how his culture — and southern Alaska’s economy — depends on salmon.

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      Two simple methods to export Contacts from OST to PST

      Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Anonymous

      OST files store Exchange mailbox data on user systems, so that the user can access emails even when the Exchange server is not available. Basically, OST file is an offline copy of the user’s mailbox stored on the Exchange server. Just like emails, the contacts of the user are also stored in OST files. How … Continue reading Two simple methods to export Contacts from OST to PST

      The post Two simple methods to export Contacts from OST to PST appeared first on Data Recovery Blog.

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      Jonathan Kay: “It was only after I left my last job, where I was the only Jew in an office of several dozen (white) gentiles…”

      Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
      Jonathan Kay: “It was only after I left my last job, where I was the only Jew in an office of several dozen (white) gentiles…”

      Jonathan Kay writes:…that I realised how much my religious background had contributed to the ideological gulf between me and my colleagues. This came out most clearly in editorial discussions about Canada’s Indigenous peoples. At these times, my colleagues sometimes would make sweeping remarks about all the horrors “we” had inflicted on First Nations, and the […]

      Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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      Food Industry Furious With Health Canada’s Front-of-Package Plans

      Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff
      If Health Canada takes Chile’s lead, we too might see Frosted Flakes boxes change from looking like those on the left to looking like those on the right.

      When industry is furious with a government proposal it’s a safe bet that proposal is likely to affect their sales, and so when I learned that the food industry was incensed by Health Canada’s front-of-package plan proposals (Aric Sudicky, a final year medical resident who was rotating through our office at the time, watched the recent roundtable style consultation hosted to discuss the implementation of what will be a Canada wide front-of-package program, via teleconference and reported to me that industry was none too pleased), I wanted to learn more.

      Now this post isn’t going to delve into whether or not those are the best 3 targets for front-of-package symbols, instead I want to focus on the lobbying and machinations of industry.

      First though, a tiny bit of background.

      In creating a new front-of-package symbol for Canadian consumers, what Health Canada doesn’t want is a program that emphasizes so-called positive nutrients as 50 percent of Canadian package fronts already have those (put there by the food industry directly to help sell food), or one that requires a second step of thinking to interpret (eg studying the nutrition facts table) as that has been shown to lead to misunderstanding, or a hodgepodge of programs (as more than 150 front-of-package labeling programs have already been documented in Canada) .

      What Health Canada does want is a single, standardized system, that involves a prominent symbol, that’s consistently located, that doesn’t require nutritional knowledge to understand, to help consumers identify products with high levels of nutrients that Health Canada deems are concerning to public health, that by itself provides the required interpretation for its meaning. Such a system would be consistent with the core recommendations made by the U.S. Institute of Medicine.

      Breaking it down further, what Health Canada wants is a system that conveys simple to understand information, rather than one that presents data requiring interpretation.

      Further still?

      Health Canada wants warnings.

      In their recent meeting, Health Canada presented their wants to food industry stakeholders, as well as the evidence they feel supports them, and invited them to submit their thoughts and suggestions for a symbol to fit Health Canada’s 4 design principles:

      1. Follow the “high-in” approach
      2. Focus only on the 3 nutrients of public health concern (sugar, sodium, and saturated fat)
      3. Be 1 colour (red) or black and white; and
      4. Provide Health Canada attribution

      As to what this might look like, here are some mockups put together jointly by the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Public Health Association, Diabetes Canada, Dietitians of Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

      Given that warning symbols aren’t likely to be good for business, I was curious as to industry’s response to the ask.

      Suffice to say, industry is indeed unhappy.

      The Retail Council of Canada wants Health Canada to implement instead an instruction for consumers to turn products around and study their nutrition facts tables, and they don’t want Health Canada’s name mentioned on the symbol. They are apparently worried that including Health Canada’s name on the symbol might be misinterpreted as a government endorsement which in turn would lead consumers to eat more of the products with the warning labels. They’re also apparently simultaneously worried that if the symbol utilized is already recognized to be a danger symbol, it could lead consumers to believe there is a food safety risk, and that if used, children, accustomed to seeing these symbols on foods, might lead them to think that cleaning supplies with danger symbols are safe to consume.

      The Food Processors of Canada used bold to point out that, “the meeting didn’t agree to anything“, and that, “Health Canada has lost its way on the obesity issue“. They think that what’s needed is more public education, not a front-of-package warning program.

      The Canadian Beverage Association expressed their, “deep concerns“, and that though they were happy to have been included in the meeting, their definition of “deep and meaningful dialogue” with industry should include a process whereby industry participants would all discuss and agree upon what the program would entail.

      Food and Consumer Products of Canada also wanted to express their disappointment that they weren’t provided the opportunity to be more directly involved in crafting the proposal’s criteria and their concerns about “the integrity and transparency of the consultation process“. They sent a second note expressing their hope that the criteria still have room to evolve and that their preference is for traffic lights as they believe, “information – good and bad – builds on consumer literacy“.

      Dairy Farmers of Canada expressed their concern that the proposed warning system lacks the nuance required “to distinguish between nutrient-dense and nutrient poor foods” (sweetened milk will likely be slapped with a high in sugar warning), and that they’d be happy to support, especially, “if coupled with exemptions for nutritious dairy products“, those programs that would provide data for consumers to study and interpret (like for instance the Facts Up Front program illustrated below).

      There was however, one response from industry that was heartening. It was from Nestlé, whose representative reported being, “a little embarrassed” by how industry presented their views during the roundtable, and, “that Nestlé is not fully aligned to some of the comments that were made by some of our trade associations, and a few of us are feeling very frustrated.

      Whatever comes of all of this, one thing’s for sure. The food industry’s near uniform opposition to Health Canada’s proposed front-of-package warning label criteria, is strong indirect evidence in support of their utility, as for the food industry, salt, sugar, and fat are the drivers of profitability and palatability, and they’ll oppose anything they worry might limit their use.

      So kudos to Health Canada for sticking to their guns, and also for honouring their pledge to make this process transparent by sharing with me industry’s responses.

      (and if you clicked on any of the industry letters to read, this is the post roundtable letter from Health Canada to which they’re all referring).

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      Jim Goad: Scream, losers, scream!

      Posted  October 30, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
      Jim Goad: Scream, losers, scream!

      From our bulging “If Trump is Hitler, why aren’t you a lampshade” files, Jim Goad writes:On both November 4 and 8, I will be watching with intense joy as the sorest losers in world history take it to the streets yet again. I will feast on their unhappiness as if it was a bowl of […]

      Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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      Homage to Catalonia : déjà vu all over again .. it may belong in Spain but this isn’t the way to keep it there?

      Posted  October 29, 2017  by  Counterweights Editors

      George Orwell’s Spanish Civil War book, Homage to Catalonia, first appeared in print in the spring of 1938. Not quite 80 years later, some updated version of its sad story about Spanish and Catalan politics — and the harsh light they cast on the wider world of the 1930s — may be unfolding all over […]

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      Jason Kenney’s Alberta Victory: An Analysis

      Posted  October 28, 2017  by  bigcitylib

      The knock against Jason Kenney is he is almost 50 and still unmarried.  Is he hiding an “artistic streak”?  PS.  Just try to jam that pipeline down BC’s throat, tar-miner.  There will be hell to pay.That is all.

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      F. H. Buckley: Beware the incredible “pain monsters” we’ve created at Yale and other schools

      Posted  October 28, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

      F. H. Buckley writes:The interesting question is not whether the pain is real. Rather, the question is why we’re seeing more of it today than in the past. And the answer is because we’ve incentivized pain. We’ve let people know that pain, even idiotic, senseless pain, can be weaponized and employed against hated opponents, whether […]

      Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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      Theodore Dalrymple: Che Guevara and patent medicine

      Posted  October 28, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
      Theodore Dalrymple: Che Guevara and patent medicine

      Theodore Dalrymple writes:As Napoleon once said, repetition is the only rhetorical technique that really works—besides which hope and fear render people susceptible to effrontery. In Thomas Holloway’s time, the fear of illness was often, and the hope of cure rarely, justified; at least Holloway’s preparations were unlikely to do much harm (they contained aloe, myrrh, […]

      Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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      Saturday Stories: Motherisk, Blood Tests, and Kim Jong Nam

      Posted  October 28, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff
      CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

      Rachel Mendleson, in the Toronto Star, with Part I of her incredible reporting on the fallout from the Mortherisk scandal.

      Christie Aschwanden, in Five Thirty Eight, details her experiences with direct to consumer blood tests in the name of athletics.

      Doug Bock Clark, in GQ, with the strange but true story of Kim Jong Nam’s assassination.

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      Christmas

      Make-Ahead Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  Angela (Oh She Glows)

      I posted this story and make-ahead technique to my Instagram account recently, only to be cut off part-way through when I exceeded the word limit. As Stephanie Tanner would say: How rude, lol. Did you even know that Instagram has a word limit? I guess it wasn’t designed for Chatty Cathy’s like me. That’s when […]

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      Richard Branson’s Virgin Group Receives $1Bln US from Saudi Arabian Wealth Fund

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  Chuck Black
                By Henry Stewart


      Here’s the latest example to illustrate that our space future rests squarely in the hands of the private sector and the irrational, entrepreneurial and crazy rich people who make it move.

      Virgin spaceship Unity glides to Earth in June 2017 June. Photo c/o Oliver Ouyang/ VG.

      As outlined in the October 28th, 2017 Los Angeles Times post, “Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic,” Saudi Arabia’s primary wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, plans to invest about $1Bln US ($1.3Bln CDN) in British billionaire Richard Branson’s three commercial space companies, including space tourism firm Virgin Galactic (VG).

      According to the article, “the kingdom’s fund also has an option to invest an additional $480 million in ‘space services’.

      Branson (left) announcing deal. Photo c/o @richardbranson.

      This isn’t the first time Branson and VG have accessed Middle Eastern funding.

      As outlined in the April 29th, 2013 post, “SpaceshipTwo Flies Supersonic,”  Abu Dhabi based Aabar Investments has also made substantial investments in Branson owned companies.

      The latest funding will “also go toward Virgin Orbit, a Long Beach firm that plans to launch small satellites from the belly of a modified commercial airliner, and the Spaceship Co., a Mojave firm that is building propulsion systems as well as the space plane and carrier aircraft for Virgin Galactic,” according to the Los Angeles Times post. 

      Virgin Group said in a statement that the investment will support human spaceflight plans, as well as increase Virgin Orbit’s manufacturing and operational capabilities and help develop “commercial supersonic point-to-point travel capabilities.” 

      The statement also teased the possibility of developing a “space centric entertainment industry” in Saudi Arabia.

      The investment, subject to regulatory approval, will give the Saudi Arabian fund a “significant stake” in the three Virgin space companies, although London UK based Virgin Group will remain the majority shareholder.

      According to Branson, a VG spaceship is “months away” from going into space with people aboard.

      _______________________________________________________________________

      Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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      What would happen to the prairies if we stopped farming them?

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      The prairies would likely revert to grassland if they were abandoned by farmers.

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      Scientists aim to eradicate pneumonia with better vaccine

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      Pneumonia vaccine offers broadest protection to date in animal models.

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      Concern rises about radioactive pollution if North Korea conducts another nuclear test

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      What happens to a mountain after 6 underground nuclear tests?

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      How volcanoes helped the Romans destroy Egyptian rule

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      The Ptolomaic dynasty was undermined by volcanoes that short-circuited life-giving Nile floods

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      What happens when you warm the Antarctic seabed by 1 degree?

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      A temperature rise of 1 degree significantly impacts marine organisms

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      Spooky Arctic jellyfish surprises scientists in viral video

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      Rare footage of jellyfish’s tentacle sweep reveals richness of Arctic environment

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      Incredible dandelions could hold the key to growing plants on the oil sands

      Posted  October 27, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

      A special fungus cleans up petrochemicals and helps grow tomatoes

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