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Whistle Blower Nurse Fined by Her Own Professional Body

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Marijke Vroomen-Durning

I have two questions for you:

If you see something wrong and this something is hurting or having a negative impact on people, is it not your duty to speak out about it?

Does it matter what your profession is if you do call it out?

The answer to the first question should be – in my opinion – yes, it is your duty. The answer to the second question seems to be a bit more complicated if you are a nurse and you live in Saskatchewan, Canada.

I remember reading about Carolyn Strom last year and I didn’t think too much about the story because I figured that the story didn’t have legs and that everything would work out. I was wrong.

Two years ago, Carolyn, an RN, wrote a post on her Facebook page about the quality of care her grandfather received in a long-term care facility, particularly at the end of his life when he was in palliative care. She criticized the care, but according to reports, she also offered solutions – being a nurse herself, she understood the issues associated with caring for patients in a long-term care environment. However, her professional body, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association, charged her with professional misconduct and Carolyn was fined $26,000.

What is worrisome about this is that Carolyn was not acting as a nurse at the time, she was acting as a private citizen who was concerned about the lack of quality care not just for her grandfather, but other patients at this facility and similar ones. She was expressing her frustration and disappointment as anyone might. Except, she has an RN behind her name, which apparently means she’s not allowed to express those thoughts.

According to the Globe and Mail, this is what Carolyn wrote:

“My grandfather spent a week in palliative care before he died and after hearing about his and my family’s experience there, it is evident that not everyone is ‘up to speed’ on how to approach end of life care or how to help maintain an aging senior’s dignity. 

“I challenge the people involved in decision making with that facility to please get all your staff a refresher on this topic and more. Don’t get me wrong, ‘some’ people have provided excellent care so I thank you so very much for your efforts, but to those who made Grandpa’s last years less than desirable, please do better next time.”

So, Carolyn was charge by the body’s disciplinary committee with five breaches:

1- Not respecting patient confidentiality
2- Failure to follow proper channels in making a complaint
3- Making comments that have a negative impact on the reputation of staff and a facility
4- Failure to first obtain all the facts
5- Using her status of registered nurse for personal purposes

Here are my arguments:

1- When it is your family member, patient confidentiality doesn’t work here. When my mother was dying last year, I could have written about it all I wanted as long as she had never expressly forbidden it. (This charge was dropped).

2- Should Carolyn have written a letter to the facility or gone higher? Yes, she should have. However, she could have done so and still posted on social media as a private citizen. Many of us have stories of letters of complaint we’ve written that were never addressed.

3- So, does this mean we can’t bash United Airlines for the horrible video of a man being forcibly removed from his seat a few days ago? Because it would have a bad reputation on the staff and organization?

4- Can anyone ever obtain all the facts?

5- We all use our background, education, and “status” for personal purposes. It’s who we are. Does this mean that I can never comment on anything health or medical related – because I’m a nurse? Why is her call out of her grandfather’s care any different than a sibling who isn’t a nurse might have been?

So, what is the message here? If you’re a nurse and you see bad care, shut up. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t vent on social media. Don’t criticize. If you do, you’re guilty of professional misconduct.

You can read more about her story here on the CBC website.

And there is a GoFundMe page raising money to help Carolyn pay those ridiculous fines, if you feel so inclined to help her. (edited to add, the page is down now, so I hope it’s because they reached their goal)

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Canada's Coolest School Trip winners announced

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Anonymous

canadas coolest school trip

One lucky group of students from Lethbridge Christian School in Alberta has won an all-expenses-paid trip to Nova Scotia. The annual Canada’s Coolest School Trip contest encourages grade 8/secondary 2 students to discover Canada’s national parks.

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Mark Steyn on WWI: The war that made the world we live in (video)

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Mark Steyn on WWI: The war that made the world we live in (video)

More from my siteMark Steyn: ‘We are moving into a world of horrors beyond analogy’Mark Steyn: ‘I find these anniversaries more dispiriting with each passing year’Mark Steyn: ‘I think most of us understand that a huge percentage of Muslims really hate Jews’VIDEO: Mark Steyn live at Hillsdale College!

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Self-flagellatory pornography designed for white liberal pillocks: “Guerilla” reviewed by James Delingpole

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

Yeah, I hear it’s shit. Does it include John Berger giving half his Booker Prize money to the UK Black Panthers? James Delingpole writes: ‘What we really need is a faux-historical drama series about police brutality and black activism set in 1970s London,’ said no TV viewer, ever. But TV commissioning editors have more important […]

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Dark Corners: “Killers From Space” (1954)

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

More from my siteDark Corners: “Fire Maidens From Outer Space” (1956)Dark Corners looks at ‘It Came From Beyond Space’ (1967)Dark Corners tackles ‘It: The Terror From Beyond Space’ (1958)Dark Corners: “Lady Terminator” (1989)

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David Cole on “Jews ate my homework!” white nationalists — and the Leo Frank case

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
David Cole on “Jews ate my homework!” white nationalists — and the Leo Frank case

David Cole writes: You think banking, rock & roll, and jacking off to porn wouldn’t be with us without the Jews? You might as well pull up a chair at Angela Davis’ chicken ’n’ ribs BBQ and toast her as she claims there’d be no slavery without whites, because she’s your soul mate, bubba. Many […]

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Children

No, Grade 1 Teachers Shouldn’t Use Fun Dip To Teach Adjectives

Posted  April 12, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

And here I thought I could no longer be shocked by the gratuitous use of junk food to reward, entertain, or pacify kids.

Silly me.

Thanks to a friend who’d rather remain anonymous, I learned that her son’s Grade 1 class was given Fun Dip to eat and write about in an exercise on adjectives.

Little did they realize they were also being taught about marketing, and about how giving kids junk food has become so normalized, that their teacher didn’t see anything wrong with this lesson.

That the use of candy as a teaching tool didn’t give this particular Grade 1 teacher enough pause to not follow through speaks not to her skills as a teacher, but rather to just how pervasive this sort of practice has become. People don’t question normal behaviour, but just because something’s been normalized, does not make it wise.

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How a Judge Scrapped Pennsylvania Families’ $4.24M Water Pollution Verdict in Gas Drilling Lawsuit

Posted  April 11, 2017  by  Anonymous
Ray Kemble holds a bottle filled with green fluid

By Sharon Kelly and Steve Horn

For many residents of Carter Road in Dimock, Pennsylvania, it’s been nearly a decade since their lives were turned upside down by the arrival of Cabot Oil and Gas, a company whose Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) wells were plagued by a series of spills and other problems linked to the area’s contamination of drinking water supplies.

With a new federal court ruling handed down late last Friday, a judge unwound a unanimous eight-person jury which had ordered Cabot to pay a total of $4.24 million over the contamination of two of those families’ drinking water wells. In a 58 page ruling, Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson discarded the jury’s verdict in Ely v. Cabot and ordered a new trial, extending the legal battle over one of the highest-profile and longest-running fracking-related water contamination cases in the country.

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Blog Flog: Patty Melts

Posted  April 11, 2017  by  Julie

I partnered with Jarlsberg to bring you this cheesy goodness. I’ve seen mention of patty melts here and there, and each time I see one I wonder why it is not number one on my all-time favourite foods list. A mash-up (truly) of grilled cheese and burger – two of my favourite things, yet mysteriously missing from restaurant menus (at least in my vicinity), and not something I’ve clued in on enough to attempt to make of my own accord. I’ve been meaning to rectify that, and Jarlsberg came along and gave me reason to finally jump in. A patty melt, if you’re unfamiliar, is an American thing – I’m not sure of its origins, but won’t bother Wikipedia-ing it because it doesn’t much matter – all that matters is that onions are caramelized, a burger patty is smash-cooked in your skillet afterward, and it’s all piled between two slices of bread (to make it grillable) with plenty of meltable cheese to glue the wholeContinue reading

The post Blog Flog: Patty Melts appeared first on Dinner With Julie.

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Yes, We Can Do ‘Sound’ Climate Science Even Though It’s Projecting the Future

Posted  April 11, 2017  by  guest
model showing global water vapor in the atmosphere

By Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research and Reto Knutti, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich

Increasingly in the current U.S. administration and Congress, questions have been raised about the use of proper scientific methods and accusations have been made about using flawed approaches. The Conversation

This is especially the case with regard to climate science, as evidenced by the hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Lamar Smith, on March 29, 2017.

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Family Friendly Hikes in the Phoenix Area

Posted  April 11, 2017  by  Anonymous

The Arizona desert is a beautiful place to explore with your family!  Here are 3 Family Friendly Hikes in the Phoenix Area. – – – – – – There is no denying it, I love the desert.  Over the years I have visited the Phoenix area quite a few times, as my parents and in-laws both have places down there.  And each time I go, I fall more and more in love with the area.  The desert is beautiful.  SO so beautiful.  I had a friend recently ask me why it was that I loved the desert so much, and I thought it was such an interesting question.  I wonder how anyone could not love the desert?  I think a lot of people see the desert as a one dimensional place…sand and cacti.  But it is SO SO much more than that.  I think anyone who takes a hike in the desert in spring will be blown away by all the cacti in bloom and the songbirds in song.   Dreamy. The desert is rich in flora and fauna…there are more cactus species that you can count, the desert has beautiful flowers, the wildlife is fascinating and you can’t beat […]

The post Family Friendly Hikes in the Phoenix Area appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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(My NEW Taki’s column) Chuck Berry: Duckwalking Toward Bethlehem

Posted  April 11, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

As usual I have constructed a prose rollercoaster that possibly only I enjoyed riding… I kept waiting for Jim Goad or Joe Bob Briggs to write about Chuck Berry, so when they didn’t, I figured I’d give it a shot: Look: I loathe thin-skinned numpties who detect “racism” everywhere (I hear “milk is white supremacist” […]

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Goldman Sachs is Bullish on Asteroid Mining

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Brian Orlotti

Marquis US investment firm Goldman Sachs has released a report revealing its bullish outlook on asteroid mining. The report highlights investors’ changing attitudes towards an endeavour that has long suffered from the “giggle factor.”

Rumour has it that most of the major movers and shakers involved with the nascent asteroid mining industry will be attending the 8th Joint Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium and Space Resources Roundtable, which will be held in conjunction with the annual Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) 2017 Convention at the Palais des Congres de Montreal in Montreal, Quebec from April 30th – May 2nd, 2017. Commercial Space blog editor Chuck Black will be there to report on the various announcements expected to be made at the event for both the Commercial Space blog and Resource World Magazine. Graphic c/o Deltion Innovations & Planetary Resources

As outlined in the April 6th, 2017 Business Insider post, “Goldman Sachs: space-mining for platinum is ‘more realistic than perceived,'” the full 98 page report, prepared for Goldman clients by analyst Noah Poponak and his team, argue that recent advances in technology are now making space asteroid mining financially viable, with enormous profit potential.

The report specifically points to falling launch costs made possible by reusable launch vehicles from Hawthorne, CA based SpaceX and Kent, WA based Blue Origin. This is in addition to recent advances in low-cost satellite manufacturing through the use of 3D-printing, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components and open standards.

Another factor making asteroid mining more attractive to investors is the increasing setup cost of Earth-based mines. The Goldman team references a variety of reports, such as the undated Mission 2016 Future of Natural Resources post, “The Process of Mining REEs and other Strategic Elements,” to show that from-scratch startup costs for rare earth metal mines are generally upwards of $1Bln USD ($1.33Bln CDN).

Asteroid mining startups like Redmond, WA based Planetary Resources and Mountain View, CA based Deep Space Industries plan to build prospecting spacecraft for tens of millions of dollars and, ultimately, on-asteroid mining and 3D-printing systems in the hundreds of millions or low billions.

These costs are well within the range of both venture capital and traditional investors.

Goldman considers asteroid mining as a highly disruptive venture, both technologically and economically. Water extracted from asteroids could be easily converted into rocket propellant and stockpiled in low earth orbit (LEO) fueling depots, further cutting the cost of space access. Platinum-group metals (ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum) from asteroids would vastly bolster humanity’s supply of these strategic materials, used in everything from electronics to automobiles to industrial equipment.

The Goldman report even has the honesty to foresee one likely consequence of off-world mining; the  meltdown of Earth’s platinum market.

According to MIT’s undated Mission 2016 study, “Mission 2016: Strategic Mineral Management,” a single 500-meter-wide asteroid could contain nearly 175 times Earth’s entire output of platinum-group metals.

With the advent of cost-cutting technologies and the newfound support of capital, space mining is finally poised to fulfill its decades-long promise.
Brian Orlotti.
  ______________________________________________________________
Brian Orlotti is a regular contributor to the Commercial Space blog.

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General Fusion, exactEarth’s Missing (But Insured) Satellite, More CSA Rovers & ULA Drops Launch Costs

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Henry Stewart

For the week of April 10th, 2017, here are a few of the stories we’re currently tracking for the Commercial Space blog:

July 29th, 2014 video overview of General Fusion. Screenshot c/o General Fusion.

  • Burnaby, BC based General Fusion has claimed a breakthrough in plasma technology. 

As outlined in the April 3rd, 2017 The Province post, “General Fusion introduces new leadership group as company claims plasma breakthrough,” the alternative energy firm “claims to have succeeded in sustaining plasma fuel with a small, prototype injector just 40 centimetres in diameter, a significant technical hurdle.

The announcement was made last week by new CEO Christofer Mowry who, as outlined in the article, “is taking the reins at Burnaby’s General Fusion as the company is poised for a great leap forward.”

According to Mowry, “GF now plans to proceed with building a larger plasma injector and a working prototype of its unique, compression-based reactor.

General Fusion and its partners, which include Chrysalix Energy, GrowthWorks Capital, Cenovus Energy, Amazon and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos and the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, have already sunk about $100Mln CDN into the project. 

The company was last referenced in these pages in the May 25th, 2015 post, “Three Small Fusion Companies Approaching a Critical Funding Mass.”

  • The exactEarth EV-5 satellite is missing. As outlined in the April 6th, 2017 exactEarth press release, “exactEarth Provides Update on EV5 Satellite,” communication were originally lost with the satellite on February 3rd, 2017 and subsequent efforts to make contact were not successful. 

But the company quickly filed a claim “for the full insured value of the satellite,” with an undisclosed insurance company and has received $3.5Mln CDN to cover the loss.

The insurance claim could even end up assisting in the growth of small-sat insurance coverage. As outlined in the April 6th, 2017 Insurance Business post, “Influx of orbital satellites could burst open cosmic insurance sector,” with “about 80-90 rocket launches every year, and with that number set to grow massively,” the space insurance business is “an interesting, well, space to be.”

As outlined in Gunther’s Space Page post on, “LatinSat A, B, C, D / AprizeSat 1, …, 10 / exactView 3, 4, 5, 5R, 6, 11, 12, 13,” the EV-5 satellite is one of a series of similar designed satellites, operating under different names and out of different corporations and jurisdictions, but intended to function together as “a constellation of small Low-Earth-Orbit satellites (64 satellites planned) to achieve a global communication system of data transmission and fixed and mobile asset tracking and monitoring (GMPCS).”

The loss of one satellite is not considered critical to the performance of the constellation. 

Two recent CSA rover designs, being taken for a ride by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains in May 2016. With him are Ontario Drive and Gear (ODG) space and robotics manager Peter Visscher and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. ODG has build many rovers for the CSA and is likely to win at least one of the newly announced RFP’s. Photo c/o CSA.

As outlined in the April 5th BuyandSell.ga.ca government procurement website posting under the title, “Lunar Surface Mobility Concept Study (C3P-CS-04) (9F050-16-0980/A),” the Federal government, under its Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) department and on behalf of the CSA, is seeking “proposals for a concept study aimed at developing a potential solution for lunar surface mobility.” 

The request for proposal (RFP) builds on previous CSA work in this area, beginning in 2009, when the Federal Conservative government under then Prime Minister Stephen Harper allocated $110Mln CDN in funding to the CSA as part of its 2009 Economic Action Plan to cover rover development, a “next generation Canadarm” and other smaller projects.

Because of the CSA’s heritage work in this area, any new intellectual property generated through the RFP’s will vest with the government. This should make the RFP a difficult proposition to any robotics firm which hasn’t worked with the CSA before.

The government expects to issue two contracts, worth up to $450K CDN each (excluding applicable taxes) and are expected to fund six months worth of work.

As originally outlined in the October 20th, 2012 post, “Lots and Lots of Rovers Looking for Missions,” Canadian rovers don’t typically sell well on the international markets. Some of the reasons for that state of affairs are discussed in the September 26th, 2016 post, “The REAL Reason Why Canada Won’t Be Participating in the NASA Resolve Mission Anytime Soon, Probably!

The announcement is also the latest in what should have been a series trumpeting new areas of research and funding for the CSA. However, as outlined in the April 3rd, 2017 post, “The Canadian Space Agency is “Very” Cautious About Its Post ISS Role,” most of the items supported under the new programs are items the CSA and its partners have been dealing with in some way, shape or form for a very long time.

As outlined in the April 4th, 2017 Reuters post, “United Launch Alliance cuts Atlas rocket price amid competition,” ULA’s cost reductions include “trimming its payroll. The company last year said it planned to cut as many as 875 jobs, or about one-quarter of its workforce, before the end of 2017.”

In March 2017, ULA lost a US Air Force global positioning satellite launch contract to SpaceX, which bid $96.5Mln US ($129Mln CDN) for the work. 

Typical ULA pricing, at least until now, has started at $109Mln US ($145Mln CDN), though satellite operators can make up at least half that cost by getting more favorable insurance rates and other factors, including an on-time launch, ULA has said.

ULA is currently heavily dependent on the Russian RD-180 rocket engine, a hot potato in US political circles, but has promised to develop a domestically produced and lower cost engine over the next few years. 

However, as outlined in the April 7th, 2017 Space News post, “RD-180 provider seeks additional ULA engine order,” the new CEO of the US-Russian joint venture that provides RD-180 engines to ULA has indicated that he “hopes” to win at least one further order for the Russian engine in the near future. 

For more, check out our upcoming stories in the Commercial Space blog.

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

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Blue Jays 2017 : last year was close but once again denied .. how much longer will the window stay open?

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Anonymous

Baseball is back in the great white north, signaling spring revival, while also commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Blue Jays’ inaugural game (April 7, 1977) at snowy Exhibition Stadium on the north shore of Lake Ontario. While it was an entertaining 2016 down at the ballpark known previously as the Skydome, last year once […]

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Pea Salad Recipe

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Anonymous

This Pea Salad Recipe is a perfect side for any meal!  It pairs perfectly with ham at Easter, or with grilled meats in summer!  Creamy and flavourful! – – – – – – Hello, I’m so happy that you are here today!  If you are craving spring food you are definitely in the right place because I’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers to bring you some delicious spring dishes (you can find all the links at the bottom of this post)!  And if you are joining me from the Canadian Food Creatives Blog Hop organized my Melanie of The Refreshanista, welcome! It’s finally spring!  After a verrrrrrrry long wintery winter here in Alberta, we are most definitely ready for spring.  Truth be told, I actually have mixed feelings about spring.  Theoretically spring is wonderful…green grass, birds chirping, flowers blooming, trees budding.  Realistically, here in Alberta spring is rain/snow mix, brown grass and really random weather.  It’s tough.  I’m ready for sunshine and flowers but that doesn’t happen here until at least June.  So to brighten things up, I bring spring indoors and decorate the house, I bake carrot cake and make spring desserts, all things that add cheer to our […]

The post Pea Salad Recipe appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Mark Steyn on Buster Keaton

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Mark Steyn on Buster Keaton

Mark Steyn writes: Offstage, things weren’t much better: on one single July day, baby Buster had his right index finger irretrievably shredded by the clothes wringer, got his head gashed open by a falling brick and then, after retreating to his bedroom, was sucked out of the window by a tornado and dumped into a […]

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Jim Goad: Trump’s missile strike “felt like a groin kick and gut punch at the same time”

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Jim Goad: Trump’s missile strike “felt like a groin kick and gut punch at the same time”

Jim Goad writes: One thing I find a mite odd is that Trump reportedly warned the Russians prior to the attack. If this is all some elaborate joint effort between the Trump Administration and the Russians to cast doubt over these endless accusations that they engage in elaborate joint efforts, it’s an absolutely brilliant move […]

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Children

No, Juice Is Not, “Really Close To Fruit”

Posted  April 10, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

If I had to rank juice companies by how blatantly their packaging tried to convince consumers that vitamin-fortified sugar water was healthful, Oasis would come out on top by a mile. So I’m not at all surprised to learn that it’s Oasis’ packaging that now includes the statement,

Really Close To Fruit

Nor was I surprised by this new product that I spotted at my local convenience store.

It’s candy gussied up by Welch’s to infer that it’s fruit.

With pictures of grapes across the front, it reports it’s “Family Farmer Owned“, that it’s “Grape“, that it’s “bursting with fruit flavour“, and “made with real fruit juice“.

They’re 50% sugar by weight.

While I doubt there’ll be parents out there who confuse these with actual grapes, I bet the majority will think they’re a “better for you” product than Twizzler’s Nibs. Yet if you compared the two you’d discover they’re pretty much the same, with the Welch’s candy actually containing 2.5% more sugar gram for gram than the Nibs.

But at least they’re calling them licorice and not “fruit chews” or something of that sort.

Until juice is explicitly removed from national dietary guidelines as being a fruit equivalent we’ll continue to see this sort of health-washing.

Oh, and coming down the pipes perhaps to a McDonald’s near you?

Minute Maid Slushies – which apparently were debuted at a McDonald’s funded children’s festival.

No word yet on how much sugar these new faux-healthy Slushies are packing.

[h/t to Christine T. for sharing the “Really Close To Fruit” photo with me on Twitter]

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Part 4: 150 Years of Canadian Aerospace History

Posted  April 9, 2017  by  Chuck Black

Radar, Better Radar (of the “Synthetic Aperture” Variety), Project Quill, 

CARDE, Velvet Glove & Black Brant

Galileo and his telescope. Graphic c/o National Geographic.

         By Robert Godwin

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.

It could be argued that the first person to engage in remote sensing was Galileo Galilei back in 1609. He didn’t invent the telescope, but he seems to have been the first to realise that it could reveal previously unattainable information from impossibly remote distances.

A few decades later Sir Isaac Newton discovered that a simple prism could unfold the secrets of light, no matter how distant the source. More than a century later William Wollaston discovered that the spectrum which had been revealed by Newton’s prism contained dark lines; this was the birth of the spectrometer.

But the next major breakthrough in true remote sensing would have to wait until the Second World War with the intense development of “radar.” The idea for “radio detection and ranging” had been around for several decades but it would take the great conflict of the 1940s to accelerate the technology into practical use.

By the end of the war every government in the world was aware of radar, although most people had little understanding that it worked by bouncing a pulse of radio waves off a distant target and then collecting the echo. It could do this through any weather.

At the end of the war the Douglas Aircraft Company in California formed the RAND group to study the potential of an earth-orbiting satellite. Their secret 1946-47 reports clearly outlined the use of satellites for weather forecasting, observation and communications. The prime military value in such a project was being able to study the ionosphere (to better understand communications interference) and to see bomb crater damage after a nuclear strike. However, an onboard radar transmitter wasn’t even considered by RAND because the technology was still too big and primitive to be mounted in their proposed satellite, which only had a payload capacity of 10lbs, so they suggested using a powerful optical camera or possibly a television camera.

One of the fundamental truths about radar is that the amount of detail in the image is affected by the physical size of the antenna that sends out the original pulse. A bigger antenna means more detail. In 1953 Kurt Stehling seems to have anticipated many of the problems associated with using radar from space, including the need for a large antenna and suitable equipment to transmit the data to the ground.

In 1951 an engineer at Goodyear working on the top secret Atlas ICBM had proposed the idea that a radar antenna might be able to operate while in motion, effectively simulating a much bigger array. Six years later, just such a device, installed on an aircraft flying in a straight line at a constant altitude, was able to create an image of an airport in Michigan. The image was crude and distorted because the aircraft was never truly flying straight, but the engineers who were involved knew that given enough advances in computing power, this was a problem that could be solved by mathematics.

The value of this new “synthetic aperture radar” (SAR) was that it had the potential to collect huge swathes of data in extreme detail. However, before computers could catch up and begin to compensate for all of the variables in this system, it was realised that a satellite is not buffeted by winds and its course is much more predictable. Almost immediately the United States Air Force began a secret project named “Quill” which would place a primitive SAR in the nose of an Agena booster and place it into orbit. Its goal was, like the RAND proposal, to see if it could detect the location of nuclear bomb craters and report that information quickly to the ground. Quill was launched in December of 1964 and worked perfectly.

While radar was finally beginning to peer through the haze, atmospheric interference was still a major problem for communications and the Canadian government soon recognised the potential to use rockets for studying the upper atmosphere.

The Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment (CARDE) in Valcartier, Quebec was chosen as the central R&D clearing house for this new technology. CARDE was part of the Defense Research Board (DRB) which operated as a fourth arm of the military establishment. The DRB was a post-WWII offshoot of the much older National Research Council (NRC). From 1916 until 1947 the NRC had been responsible for both civilian-industrial scientific research and military research. After 1947 the DRB took over the solely military programs and the NRC reverted to its role of aiding civilian industrial and academic research.

Today the DRB is known as Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). By giving this important new technology to CARDE it clearly shows that the rocket was, even in Canada, considered first and foremost as a weapon.

One of the first advanced rocket programs undertaken at CARDE was an air to air missile named “Velvet Glove” which was to be used on Canadian fighter planes. Canadair, a major aircraft manufacturer in Montreal had initially been designing this advanced missile to be used on the CF-100, but soon plans were announced for a supersonic fighter and the Velvet Glove was to be reassigned to this new aircraft.

However, in 1954 the Velvet Glove program was cancelled in favour of an as-yet untested American built missile. This cancellation put many engineers’ jobs at risk in Montreal and alerted the government to the need for more high-technology work in the aerospace sector.

A high powered oxygen hydrogen gun had also been installed at CARDE for firing projectiles at speeds of up to 14,000 feet per second. Gerald Bull was using this gun to fire different shapes of projectiles to test their flight qualities and also to see how different materials reacted to extremely high temperatures. One of the purposes of this was to see if an anti-missile missile could be designed and built.

The same year that Velvet Glove was cancelled a new large sounding rocket named the Raven was being developed in England to send payloads out into space and bring them back at high speed. The Bristol Aircraft Company was asked to adapt this missile for Canada’s specific needs. A new fuel was developed at CARDE and the rocket was renamed the “Black Brant.”

Canada was on the front edge of ABM technology and the Black Brant was one of the missiles being proposed for this purpose, but it would never be fired in anger. It was adapted by Albert Fia of Alberta to probe the upper atmosphere with a host of instruments in an attempt to get a better understanding of why long-range radio communications could still be interrupted by space weather from the sun. The Black Brant family of rockets would become one of Canada’s most important aerospace products.

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, “Rockets, Mosquitoes, Lancaster’s, UTIAS, and the Cold War” in part three of “100 Years of Canadian Aerospace History.

Next Week, “The International Geophysical Year, the Avro Arrow & Jetliner, Lapp, Stehling, Bull & Blue Streak,” as part five of “100 Years of Canadian Aerospace History” continues.

On sale now, at Apogee Books.

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Part 4: A History of the Canadian Space Program – Policies & Lessons Learned Coping with Modest Budgets

Posted  April 9, 2017  by  Chuck Black

More of the 1970’s, “Equal Access” to Communications, “Improved Industrial Capability” and the Hermes Communication Satellite 


The Hermes communications satellite. Graphic c/o CSA.

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 2

During the 1970, the Department of Communications (DOC) had been conducting studies of advanced satellite communications concepts with a view to using the newly approved 14/12 GHz band to provide direct communications services via satellite to low cost ground terminals. 

The motivation for these studies was the government’s stated policy that Canadians, no matter where they lived, should have equal access to the rapid evolution in communications services.

The newly approved frequency band for communications satellites offered the potential for the ubiquitous provision of telephone, television, tele-education, tele-medicine and a variety of other applications using ground terminals no more than 0.6 metres in size. But the technologies for using this new band were not yet available, and no satellite had yet been designed to take advantage of this new potential.

After extensive negotiations with NASA and considerable debate in government, DOC concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA in April 1971 for the Communications Technology Satellite Program (CTS) as a replacement for the cancelled ISIS III satellite. 

The common objectives for the program were: 

  • To advance the state of the art by developing a satellite communications system to operate at higher powers and higher frequencies than existing systems, thus making possible direct communications with low-cost ground terminals in individual homes and communities; and 
  • To conduct communications and technology experiments to evaluate the economic, social and political impacts of the future introduction of new services such as two-way tele- education and tele-medicine, direct broadcasting via satellite, and special community services.

Canada was to design, build and operate the spacecraft while the US was to provide the high-power tube for the satellite and launch the satellite. Use of the satellite was to be shared equally between the two countries. 

Canada had an additional objective stemming from the industrial setback of the Telesat procurement decision (as discussed in part three of this series). The government saw the CTS program as the vehicle for improving our industrial capability to design and manufacture complete communications satellites and subsystems for the domestic and export markets.

To accomplish this in such a high risk advanced technology development program, DOC established a unique program management structure that integrated the skills and expertise of government and industrial personnel into one team. This ensured that responsibility for the program clearly rested with DOC and that the development of project management skills and technological expertise occurred in industry. 

As will be shown later, this unique structure was fundamental to the rapid growth of the Canadian space industry in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. There is no doubt that the CTS program became one of the most significant tools in the development of an internationally competitive space industry in Canada.

CTS was launched on January 17, 1976 and named Hermes. The satellite was operated until contact with the satellite was lost in November 1979 (almost two years after its design life). At the time of its launch, it was the most powerful communications satellite ever launched, and was the first to operate in the new 14/12 GHz band. The communications experiments conducted on Hermes pioneered direct broadcasting of TV to homes and demonstrated the feasibility of providing a host of new services to rural and remote communities. 

The ANIK-B1 dual-band telecommunications satellite. As outlined on the Gunther’s Space Page post on the satellite, it was built under an arrangement between Telesat Canada and the federal government and built by the RCA Astro-Electronics Division. Photo c/o ESA.

As a result of the success of Hermes, the Canadian government arranged with Telesat to include 14/12 GHz transponders on its Anik B satellite which was being built to replace the ageing Anik A satellites. As a result, Anik B1, launched on Dec. 15, 1978, was the first satellite in the world to operate in both the 6/4 GHz and the 14/12 GHz bands. 

For Hermes’ accomplishments in the field of television broadcasting and its applications, the Communications Research Centre and NASA received EMMY awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1987.

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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: “The 1970’s, A Canadian Space Industry, Telesat, ANIK and a “Canadian Content Premium,” in part three of “A History of the Canadian Space Program: Policies & Lessons Learned Coping with Modest Budgets.

Next Week: “Winding up the 1970’s, The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Spar Aerospace, MacDonald Dettwiler, a Seminal 1974 “Canadian Policy for Space” & the Canadarm as part five of “A History of the Canadian Space Program: Policies & Lessons Learned Coping with Modest Budgets,” continues.

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Australian Climate Denial Think Tank Picks Cat Author and Moonman Ken Ring as Climate Expert

Posted  April 9, 2017  by  Graham Readfearn

Do you love cats and want to know what makes them tick?  Do you think climate change is a hoax being pushed as part of a eugenics plot?  Do you like rubber band magic?

If your answers to these questions are “yes,” “hell yeah,” and “sometimes,” then have I got the book for you? Hell yeah, I do.

Australian “think tank,” the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), has launched a fundraising drive for its 2017 edition of the book Climate Change: The Facts.

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Knee-jerks and media stimuli: the phantasmagoria of Syria

Posted  April 8, 2017  by  Dr.Dawg

Syria—or the “Syria” we’re presently trying to understand—poses an age-old problem: How do we determine what happens over the horizon? Analysis, of course. After weighing the facts. Drawing reasonable conclusions. Well, hold on a moment. Whence come those facts? Mostly…

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How the Koch Machine Quietly Pushed for the Dakota Access Pipeline and Stands to Profit

Posted  April 8, 2017  by  Steve Horn
The Dakota Access pipeline being built in central Iowa

Quietly and behind the scenes, a front group funded by the Koch family fortune has lobbied and advocated for the soon-to-be-operating Dakota Access pipeline, a project in which a Koch subsidiary stands to profit.

A DeSmog investigation reveals that the group, the 60 Plus Association, pushed in recent months for Dakota Access both on the state and federal level. In Iowa, which the pipeline bisects, 60 Plus advocated on the project’s behalf in front of the Iowa Utilities Board, which ultimately gave pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners the permit it needed. And 60 Plus has lobbied for the pipeline nationally as well.

Ultimately, the profits from Dakota Access will be seen by Koch subsidiary Flint Hills Resources. The finding by DeSmog comes just days before Dakota Access will officially open for business.

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Saturday Stories: Concussions, Conservatism, and a Crusade

Posted  April 8, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Reid Forgrave with his debut article in GQ, and it’s a doozy – the concussion diaries.

Matthew Sitman in Dissent on leaving conservatism behind.

Maureen Dowd in Vanity Fair on Elon Musk’s billion-dollar crusade to pre-empt the AI apocalypse.

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Mar-a-Lago dreamin’ : is the Trump administration finding its feet at last?

Posted  April 8, 2017  by  Citizen X

APRIL 8, 2017. GANATSEKWYAGON, ONTARIO, CANADA. Is it true that : “Missile attack on Syria a ‘win-win’ for Trump … Strike will allow US president to deflect attention from domestic crises and regain moral high ground”? And does the departure of Steve Banon from the US National Security Council similarly mean that adults are taking […]

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Ready to Share – April 2017

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

#RealChange, Ready to Share is a regular publication from the Liberal Party of Canada showcasing the latest and greatest news in a convenient format! Check out the latest stories from the party and then share, share, share!

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House Science Committee Leader Says Climate Scientists Are Trying to Control People’s Lives

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  Farron Cousins
Lamar Smith

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, declared in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives this week that the people warning us about the dangers of global warming — which definitely includes climate scientists — are either trying to make a quick buck, or they’re just trying to control our lives.

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Wedging into the Bar For a Stronger Deadlift

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  deansomerset

One of the big coaching cues I use a lot with my clients when coaching the deadlift is the concept of tension on the bar and less about the actual lift itself. If you consider the primary aim of a deadlift is to have the hips, knees and ankles do the moving to create the…… Read More

The post Wedging into the Bar For a Stronger Deadlift appeared first on DeanSomerset.com.

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Blogging resumes Monday morning…

Posted  April 7, 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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Documents Suggest FERC Approved Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge Project Despite Knowing of Contractor’s Flawed Conflict Disclosure

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  Anonymous
Map of Spectra Energy pipeline projects at an open house for Atlantic Bridge

A document submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) suggests the agency had clear information that a contractor hired to review Spectra Energy’s proposed Atlantic Bridge gas project did not fully disclose its work for Spectra on a related project. FERC recently approved Atlantic Bridge, which would expand the existing Algonquin gas pipeline through northeastern states. The documents were obtained by DeSmog through an open records request. 

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Pushy, Pushy, Cats

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Ah to be one of these Funny Friday cats. Looks like they’ve got a pretty decent setup.

Have a great weekend!

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Elizabeth’s Lunar Rhubarb Cake

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  Julie

This lunar rhubarb cake is a thing – do you know of it? It has made the rounds of Canadian kitchens for decades and generations, far before the internet and Pinterest made it easier to share, back when great aunts and neighbours scribbled down the formula for that cake they always make that’s so good. Everyone seems to remember this. It’s called lunar cake because its surface resembles the pocked surface of the moon, only in this case it becomes irregular and uneven because of the fruit and buttery brown sugar that sinks into the top. (Any fruit will work here – I love these recipes that you can use no matter what’s in season. I already can’t wait for plums.) I’d heard of it but never made one, thinking it was the same sort of fruit-topped cake I’d made dozens of versions of, but when it popped up in the new cookbook by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller, whose lives I would quickly adoptContinue reading

The post Elizabeth’s Lunar Rhubarb Cake appeared first on Dinner With Julie.

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Photographing a Black Hole

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Turning our planet into a giant telescope to get a photo of a black hole.

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The Curse of the Monkey God

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

The book ‘The Lost City Of The Monkey God’ chronicles finding the mythical ‘White City’ in Honduras.

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The most Canadian scientific discovery of all time

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Maple Syrup might be for more than just pancakes, it might enhance the potency of antibiotics.

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There was an old badger who buried a cow

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Camera trap footage reveals never-before-seen animal smarts, a badger burying a cow.

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What instincts being ‘hardwired in the brain’ could really mean

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Epigenetics controls how our DNA is expressed. That might be the key to developing instincts.

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Quirks & Questions: Are birds evolving to avoid window collisions?

Posted  April 7, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

A 30 year study on cliff swallows shows the evolution of shorter wings are better for avoiding cars.

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California Bill Requiring Analysis of What Caused Aliso Canyon Gas Blowout Moves Ahead

Posted  April 6, 2017  by  Anonymous
People holding signs protesting Aliso Canyon and supporting SB57

More than a year and a half after the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility suffered a massive methane blowout, a California state bill that would keep the facility idled pending an exhaustive analysis of the disaster’s cause was approved Tuesday in the California Senate Energy, Communications, and Utilities Committee.

Senate Bill 57, co-authored by state Sen. Henry Stern, requires the California Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to complete a “root cause analysis” of the source of the October 2015 methane blowout as a condition of lifting Aliso Canyon’s moratorium on natural gas injections. 

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